The Collection

Dou, Gerrit (1613-1675)

The Doctor's Visit

Oil on wood panel
32,5 x 24,5 cm
Dalí Theatre-Museum

In the occasion of the 400th anniversary of Gerrit Dou's birth, the Dalí Foundation pays him a tribute by showing two of his works that belonged to Salvador Dalí's private collection and which are on permanent exhibition in the Dalí Theatre-Museum in Figueres.

Gerrit Dou (1613-1675) was one of the most highly regarded Dutch painters of the seventeenth century, above all for his minutely precise technique. He received his early artistic training from his father, an engraver and glassworker, and by the age of 15 he was an apprentice of Rembrandt, whose disciple he is considered to be. He spent six years studying with the master and exploring the use of chiaroscuro. Gerrit Dou's painting has been defined as exquisite, meticulous, illusionist and refined.

Dalí referred to the two paintings by Dou in his private collection, The Doctor's Visit and The Spinner (also known as Portrait of Rembrandt's Mother) as 'two probable stereoscopic experiences', and regarded Dou as the originator of this line of experimentation.

It was thanks to an exhibition held in Paris in 1970-71, which included works by Dou, that Dalí became aware that the Dutchman made duplicates of his paintings. When he studied these more closely he saw that they were not exactly the same, but presented a number of small differences. This led him to the idea that Dou - probably with the help of Van Leeuwenhoek, one of the early developers of modern microscopy - used special lenses and mirrors to create a single stereoscopic painting, and was thus the inventor of this technique.

The Fundació Gala-Salvador Dalí and the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum in Madrid are the only collections in Spain with paintings by the 17th-century Dutch master.

  • The Doctor's Visit

    The Doctor's Visit