Bathed in a well lit room, a man stands with his trusty dog in front of a map. His clothes – he is wearing boots with spurs, elegant outfit and a sword – suggest that he is a soldier. The map suggests he has travelled for his fighting and the spartan room.
The man holds a miniature portrait of a lady, so more than likely his wife who has passed away. Like most of Potter’s soldier scenes this picture is most likely to be painted in Amsterdam in the 1630s.
Pieter Symonsz Potter
Pieter Symonsz Potter (1597, Enkhuizen – 1652, Amsterdam), was a Dutch Golden Age painter. According to Houbraken he was the city secretary of Enkhuizen, married to the daughter of Paulus Bertius and the father of the painter Pieter I Potter, making him the grandfather of Pieter II, Paulus, and Maria Potter. His wife was the sister of the painter Willem Bartsius, and he was the father, not the grandfather, of Pieter II, Paulus and Maria. He was first trained as a glass painter and in 1628 moved to Leiden to learn painting in oils. He is known mostly for genre pieces and farm landscapes, and he became a member of the Delft Guild of St. Luke in 1646, and a member of the Confrerie Pictura in 1647 (though this record in the The Hague guild archives may have been for drawing lessons for his oldest son Peter).