Despite its long-standing attribution to Nicolaes van Haeften (1663-1715), presumably due to the initials centre right, this small canvas, which bears no marked resemblance to the works of Van Haeften (nor indeed to those of his illustrious descendant) is much more likely to have been painted by an artist working in the circle of Michael Sweerts, of whose paintings it is strongly reminiscent. The lighting of the head of the elderly man, for example, recalls Sweerts' handling in paintings such as An Old Beggar, in the Hohenbuchau Collection.1
1.See G. Jansen and P. Sutton, Michael Sweerts (1618-1664), exhibition catalogue, Zwolle 2002, p. 15, fig. 8.
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