Sleeper Awakened by a Young Woman with a Lit Wick

by Nicolas Régnier

November 2011

Nicoals Régnier was a Flemish painter who lived 1591-1667. During his time as an artist, he was active mainly in Rome and Venice in Italy. Therefore his art has come to be regarded as Italian rather than Flemish.

While in Italy, Régnier encountered the artistic tradition started by the great Caravaggio. Works from this tradition typically depict emotional manoeuvring, reinforced by powerful light effects and deep colours.

This work, Sleeper Awakened by a Young Woman with a Lit Wick, was painted during Régnier’s Roman period. It is part of a suite of three works on the same theme. The painting is considered one of Régnier’s finest works, full of exquisite details such as the torn cards, the wax has flowed along the candlestick and shade from the young man's eyelashes. The young woman depicted in the painting invites the viewer to take part in the joke being played on the sleeping man

Centenary gift

Régnier’s painting was given to Nationalmuseum by the association Friends of Museum. The association celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2011. To mark this, an appeal was launched to raise money for a significant centenary gift. The gift was handed over to Nationalmuseum at the celebration’s Grand Finale Night in late November 2011. The painting will complement and enrich the museum’s collection of Italian 17th century art.

Image: Nicolas Régnier, Fortune Telling Scene

Nicolas Régnier, Fortune Telling Scene


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