Netherlandish painter Jan Gossaert portrayed this merchant within a busy, enclosed space, surrounded by tools of his trade—an inkpot and quill pens, a talc shaker for drying ink, and a pair of scales for weighing coins. In sumptuous attire, the young man radiates self-assurance. Holbein likely encountered Gossaert’s work in 1532, when he was passing through the Netherlands on his way to England for the second time. Although the character of this portrait is very different from Holbein’s other depictions of members of the Hanseatic League, scholars have argued that the painting directly influenced his likeness of the merchant Georg Gisze, now in Berlin.
Courtesy National Gallery of Art, Washington