In the Dutch Golden Age, at a time when trade in the Dutch Republic and its outposts was flourishing, portraits of Moors and African figures were scarce. When they did feature in the art of the time, it was in the most part as servants or slave labourers. This portrait, however, shows an African man of elevated rank, in a stylish pose. His wealth and status are displayed in his rich dress, a kaftan of possibly Turkish origin, and the fashionable accoutrements of the time: namely the expensive, long clay pipe and the prominent pearl earring. Although the attribution is not clear, some Dutch artists are recorded as having painted portraits of Africans and Brazilians, including Albert Eckhout, who travelled to Brazil, and Jasper Becx, who is known to have made portraits for the Count of Sonho.