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The elderly man in this portrait is consulting a book that shows different types of coins, indicating that he is either a coin collector or a money changer. Though the motif of the coin had suggested miserliness and vice since the Renaissance, there is no trace of such moralization here.
Pot is best known as a painter of small-scale genre scenes and portraits, usually of single figures seated at a table. His later works, including this one, are influenced by Rembrandt’s treatment of light and his sensitive characterization of human subjects.
Provenance research is on-going at the Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields. Please contact Annette Schlagenhauff, Curator of European Art, at email@example.com if you have questions, or if you have additional information to share with us.