Special thanks to the Microsoft Corporation for permission to use following biographical information from Microsoft® Encarta 2000:
Gerrit Dou was a Dutch painter, born in Leiden. Dou learned glass painting from his father and in 1628 became Rembrandt's first pupil. After some early portraits, he painted chiefly small domestic scenes characterized by minute detail—often painted under a magnifying glass—skillful chiaroscuro, and lifelike effect. Among these are The Poulterer's Shop (National Gallery, London) and Evening Light (Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam). Dou's work was very popular and continued to be influential until the mid-19th century when appreciation for precision in painting declined under the influence of impressionism.