Pieter de Grebber

Haarlem 1600 - 1652

Interior with and old woman examining gold coins by Candlelight.

Interior with and old woman examining gold coins by Candlelight.


Oil on Canvas, 90 x 72 cm



Collection of the Maharanee of India;

Collection of Norman Hamilton, editor of The Times of India (gift from the Maharanee of India);

Private Collection, London, United Kingdom (given to the mother of the present owner by Mr Hamilton).

Additionnal Information

Completely unknown until now, our painting is a highly characteristic and very early work by Pieter de Grebber, when he was still under the influence of the Utrecht Caravaggisti.


It relates to three other early paintings. One, Three Musicians, monogrammed and dated 1623 (93 x 75.5 cm) from a private collection, later on loan to the National Gallery of Art in Washington, is very close and can let us assume that our painting can be dated c. 1623 (see L.J. Slatkes, Simiolus XII (1981-2), pp. 173-4). The figure types are very similar and the device of the curtain is used to hide the light source.

The second one is in the Museo de Bellas Artes in Bilbao (inv. 69/114, 91 x 94 cm) and Slatkes noted in 1981 that it was certainly by De Grebber and probably the pendant to the signed and dated work in the private collection.

The third one is the Adoration of the Shepherds that was with Julius Weitzner in 1968 and later published by J. Foucart (see Exhibition Catalogue, Les Tableaux flamands et hollandais du Musée des Beaux-Arts de Quimper, 1987, p.27). the old lady in profile on the far right could be the same model as in our painting.


Slatkes also speculated that the influence of the Utrecht painters might have gotten to Haarlem, where both de Grebber and Hals were active, via the conduit of Jacob van Campen, best known for his masterpiece, the Town Hall in Amsterdam, but who was also active as a painter and registered in the Haarlem painter’s guild as early as 1614. Van Campen also lived in Amersfoort, only 20 kilometers from Utrecht.


We thank Peter Sutton for the information provided in this description and for confirming the authorship to Pieter de Grebber and who will include it in the artist’s Monograph which he is currently preparing.