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A Young Astronomer
Olivier van Deuren
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A curtain has been pulled back on van Deuren’s young astronomer to reveal the stargazer looking not at the heavens but at a celestial globe, marked with northern and zodiacal constellations, that he has taken from its stand. A notebook and inkpot sit on his desk awaiting his observations; books of astronomical charts and a quadrant for measuring celestial angles are ready to help him.

The Netherlands in the seventeenth century was a centre for astronomical study and the young practitioner is perhaps thinking about the discoveries he too might make. The quizzical look on his face, fascination mixed with apprehension, suggests how difficult the task of plumbing the mysteries of the heavens will be. He is looking not just to see where new stars and planets might be found but if his own fate is written in the stars.

Key facts
Artist Olivier van Deuren
Artist dates 1666 - 1714
Full title A Young Astronomer
Date made about 1685
Medium and support Oil on oak
Dimensions 15.3 x 12.7 cm
Acquisition credit Salting Bequest, 1910
Inventory number NG2589
Location in Gallery Not on display
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