Skip to main content

Olivier van Deuren, A Young Astronomer

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

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.

Download image
Download low-resolution image

Download a low-resolution copy of this image for personal use.

License this image

License and download a high-resolution image for reproductions up to A3 size from the National Gallery Picture Library.

License image
Download low-resolution image

This image is licensed for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons agreement.

Examples of non-commercial use are:

  • Research, private study, or for internal circulation within an educational organisation (such as a school, college or university)
  • Non-profit publications, personal websites, blogs, and social media

The image file is 800 pixels on the longest side.

As a charity, we depend upon the generosity of individuals to ensure the collection continues to engage and inspire. Help keep us free by making a donation today.

Download low-resolution image

You must agree to the Creative Commons terms and conditions to download this image.

Creative Commons Logo