What just happened?

To celebrate Vikings Live, we have replaced our Roman alphabet with the runic alphabet used by the Vikings, the Scandinavian ‘Younger Futhark’. The ‘Younger Futhark’ has only 16 letters, so we have used some of the runic letters more than once or combined two runes for one Roman letter.

For an excellent introduction to runes, we recommend Martin Findell’s book published by British Museum Press.

More information about how we have ‘runified’ this site


Collection online

Additional options
Production date to

Or search by



  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    The old painter; interior of a studio with the artist seated before an easel, wearing spectacles and furred cap, on a shelf behind are masks, skull and other items Pen and brown ink and grey wash

  • Producer name

  • School/style

  • Date

    • 1675-1704
  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 216 millimetres
    • Width: 184 millimetres
  • Curator's comments

    The 1995 Ostade Exhibition label text (exhibited with 1836-8-11-130): The present drawing, with its crowded representation of the painter's chattels and the violin, is probably an allegory of the arts. The painter's spectacles may refer to his ability to deceive, and his age to the adage, 'ars longa, vita brevis' ('art lives long, life is short').


  • Bibliography

    • Hind 25 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Dutch Roy XVIIc

  • Exhibition history

    1995 Jan-Apr, BM, Ostade (no cat.)

  • Subjects

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department

    Prints & Drawings

  • Registration number



If you’ve noticed a mistake or have any further information about this object, please email: collectiondatabase@britishmuseum.org 

View open data for this object with SPARQL endpoint

Object reference number: PDO13245

British Museum collection data is also available in the W3C open data standard, RDF, allowing it to join and relate to a growing body of linked data published by organisations around the world.

View this object

Support the Museum:
donate online

The Museum makes its collection database available to be used by scholars around the world. Donations will help support curatorial, documentation and digitisation projects.

About the database

The British Museum collection database is a work in progress. New records, updates and images are added every week.

More about the database 


Work on this database is supported by a range of sponsors, donors and volunteers.

More about supporters and how you
can help