About this artwork

This portrait of an unidentified man dressed in the dark-coloured clothing typical for a Dutch burgher, is enlivened by his ruddy complexion and bright white collar. His age, forty-seven, is inscribed on the painting, which is also signed and dated 1662. Jan de Braij painted the man’s eldest son, aged eleven in the same year. He also portrayed the man’s wife and their younger son, aged seven in 1663. All four works are in the National Gallery's collection and are very similar in terms of shape, size and colouring.

Jan de Braij (de Bray)

Jan de Braij (de Bray)

Based in Haarlem, De Braij painted portraits, history pictures and mythological scenes. He trained with his father, Salomon, a painter and architect. Jan de Braij was commissioned to paint group portraits, individuals and families. Apart from two years in Amsterdam, he spent his whole career in Haarlem, becoming a prominent member of the city’s Guild of St Luke. He experienced financial hardship later in life and was declared bankrupt in 1689.