The famous Haarlem based painter and engraver Hendrick Goltzius has painted an informal portrait of his friend, the textile merchant Jan Govertsen van der Aar. The proud merchant is dressed in a black tunic with a simple open collar. On his lap is his valuable collection of shells. Portraiture was rather boring for a history painter like Goltzius. Someone who depicted action and passion and preferred fiction to fact had no interest in painting a likeness. That rule did not apply to friends, of course, and Jan Govertsz., a collector of shells, was drawn and painted by Goltzius more than once. His sleepy head is even found in several of Goltzius' history paintings.