Student portrait with tobacco pipe
Pipe smoking was extremely popular among German students. Thousands of portraits were painted in the nineteenth century on which students are depicted with their favorite pipe. This painting is one of them. You can see a silhouette portrait of a smoker in a rather formal dress with a characteristic hat enjoying a tobacco pipe, the porcelain bowl of which is decorated with a coat of arms. Often these were pipes received as a gift from student friends since there was an elaborate culture in presenting pipes with special paintings such as portraits, family coats of arms or monograms. Many of those pipe bowls bear witness to this exchange of gifts by the names of the donor and the recipient written on the reverse. It has never been explained why German students had such a strong preference for porcelain pipes, while in many other circles the more comfortable meerschaum was preferred. Only the fact that appropriate decorations could be easily executed could have been the incentive.
Amsterdam Pipe Museum APM 20.860Permalink