Everything that came from his pencil was precious, even in his life-time. Houbraken says that his great patron, Mr. Spiering the banker, allowed him one thousand guilders a year, and paid besides whatever sum he pleased to ask for his pictures, some of which he purchased for their weight in silver; but Sandrart informs us, with more probability, that the thousand guilders were paid to Douw by Spiering on condition that the artist should give him the choice of all the pictures he painted. The following description of one of Gerhard's most capital pictures, for a long time in the possession of the family of Van Hoek, at Amsterdam, will serve to give a good idea of his method of treating his subjects. The picture is much larger than his usual size, being three feet long by two feet six inches wide, inside the frame. The room is divided into two apartments by a curtain of curiously wrought tapestry. In one apartment sits a woman giving suck to her child; at her side is a cradle, and a table covered with tapestry, on which is placed a gilt lamp which lights the room. In the second apartment is a surgeon performing an operation upon a countryman, and by his side stands a woman holding some utensils. The folding doors on one side shows a study, and a man making a pen by candle light; and on the other, a school, with boys writing, and sitting at different tables. The whole is lighted in an agreeable and surprising manner; every object is expressed with beauty and astonishing force. Nor does the subject appear too crowded, for it was one of his peculiar talents to show, in a small compass, more than other painters could do in a much larger space. His pictures are generally confined to a few figures, and sometimes to a single one, and when he attempted larger compositions, he was generally less successful. The works of this artist are not numerous, from the immense labor and time he bestowed upon a single one; and from this circumstance, and the estimation in which they are held by the curious collectors, they have ever commanded enormous prices. They were always particularly admired in France, in the days of Napoleon, there were no less than seventeen of his pictures gathered into the Louvre, most of which were, after his downfall, restored to their original proprietors, among which was the famous Dropsical Woman, from the collection of the King of Sardinia. At Turin, are several pictures by Douw, the most famous of which is the one just named—the Dropsical Woman, attended by her physician, who is examining an urinal. This picture is wonderfully true to nature, and each particular hair and pore of the skin is represented. In the gallery at Florence is one of his pictures, representing an interior by candle-light, with a mountebank, surrounded by a number of clowns, which is exquisitely finished. The great fame of Gerhard Douw, and the eager desire for his works, have given rise to numerous counterfeits. We may safely say that there is not an original picture by this artist in the United States. Douw died, very rich, in 1674.