Manchester Art Gallery

Master and Pupil

Object description

A teacher instructs his pupil by counting on his fingers, while the boy gives his full attention in return. An inscription on a cartouche in the background, decorated with the head of a putto and floral ornament, has a ‘Greek' inscription. It corresponds to a fragment from Menander, which translates as 'the reward of virtue is good education', although the inscription as it stands is little better than mock Greek (possibly applied by a restorer with little or no understanding of the language). Born in Antwerp, De Gheyn trained first with his father and then with Hendrick Goltzius in Haarlem. He subsequently worked in Amsterdam, Leiden and The Hague, and in 1622 visited London with his son, Jacob III. De Gheyn treated the subject of a teacher and pupil several times.