- This painting depicts a realistic three quarter length portrait of an unknown man, presumably a Dutch man, wearing black attire and a black hat. In his right hand he holds a pair of spectacles, while he rests his left hand over the open book, pointing to the words in Dutch written in the richly decorated open book on the table; which when translated from Dutch to English reads:Is God for us the one/ who can be against us/ that.......his own/ (son).......not saved/ but who has given everything for us/...../ all thanks/ Roma.This probably relates to the conflict between Catholicism and Protestantism at the time. Next to the book are also a paintbrush and some mussel shells. The identity of the sitter remains unknown, however, it has been suggested that he is an illuminator of books. His age is revealed as 67 from the inscription in the upper right corner of the panel and he appears to be a member of the Dutch middle class, that very same class which a few years later was to form the backbone of the new Republic. The painting dates to 1565.
- Inscription: Inscription on top right corner: "AETATES SVAE LXVII 1565"
- Repository/Location: National Museum of Fine Arts (Valletta, Malta)
- : 103 x 76 cm (without frame)
- Late Renaissance [Create]
- 1565 [Create]
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