Around 1662, Arent de Gelder was the last pupil of Rembrandt, who taught him to paint with broad brushstrokes, dark colours and strong lighting accents. De Gelder continued to work in this style, even when a finer touch and lighter colours became fashionable.
De Gelder had a preference for biblical scenes, such as the story of the old man Simeon, who bursts into a song of praise when he recognises the little Jesus as his Messiah. The child in his arms appears to be the source of the divine light.
Sir William Cunliffe Brooks, Aboyne Castle, before 1900; sale C. Robinson, London, Christie’s, 19 April 1902, lot 30;Thomas B. Walker, Minneapolis, before 1912-1927; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, 1927-1970 (sale New York, Sotheby’s, 22 October 1970, lot 44); B. Mont Gallery, New York, 1970-1972; H.J. (Hans) de Koster (1914-1992), Wassenaar, 1972-1987 (on loan to the Mauritshuis, 1974-1985; on loan to the Catharijneconvent Museum, Utrecht, 1985-1987); gift of H.J. de Koster to the Friends of the Mauritshuis Foundation, 1987; on long-term loan from the Friends of the Mauritshuis Foundation, since 1987