Night fell as Jacob travelled from Beer-Sheba to Haran, so he lay his head on a stone and dreamed he saw a ladder from earth to Heaven with angels ascending and descending ('Genesis', chapter 28, verses 10-12). There is a mix of the homely and heavenly in this Bible story which has always appealed to artists. Arent de Gelder, Rembrandt's last pupil, dwells on the homely side, recreating the scene in a literal-minded, almost comic way with details like the stone pillow, the rustic drinking flask and rough clothes, lovingly described. We see a tired traveller huddled in a corner, surrounded by thorny trees and a wide, dark and inhospitable landscape. We are perhaps more aware of the dreamer than the dream. For De Gelder imagines the glory of Heaven as an effect of landscape. There is no procession of angels striding up and down; rather a burst of light in the top corner as if the moon is just breaking through the clouds. The only distinct angel (held steady by an awesome wing-span) is painted as a simple triangular shape made up of vertical streaks. It appears more like a veiled apparition than a heavenly body, as if this figure (and the vision as a whole) were just a trick of the light. The picture was much admired as a work by Rembrandt until Richter rejected the attribution in 1880. Hofstede de Groot recognised the hand of De Gelder in 1914, and the signature was discovered during cleaning in 1946. Sumowski suggests a date of 1710/15.