This forceful drawing probably dates from around 1616, at which time Jacques de Gheyn III was working on his series of the Seven Wise Men of Greece (see lot 132). Other drawings on a similar theme survive from the same date, showing venerable bearded men swathed in mantles and gesticulating with gnarled hands. They may be prophets, philosophers or magicians of some form: they can appear alone, such as The Prophet Aaron, which was sold at Tajan, Paris, on 24 March 2003 (lot 15), or in pairs, as seen in Two old men quarrelling in the Stiftung Klassik und Kunstsammlungen in Weimar (van Regteren Altena, 1983, op. cit., no. 34). In both his choice of subject and his style, with its crisply-hatched monumental forms, the younger de Gheyn was evidently greatly influenced by his father. Jacques de Gheyn II (1565-1629) had, in the first years of the 17th Century, executed drawings of a comparable type, such as the Seated judge in ancient times, also from the van Regteren Altena collection, which was sold at Christie's, London, 10 July 2014, lot 29.