The composition is thought ultimately to derive from a lost half-length Banker and Client by Jan van Eyck of 1440, that was probably commissioned by Italian financiers working in Bruges. It seems that van Eyck's composition was adapted by Quinten Metsys in two works including the Banker and Wife of 1514 in the Louvre, Paris. It has been hypothesised that the present work and the many other known examples of its compositional type were in turn based upon a second, lost, derivation of Metsys' that was itself adapted by Marinus van Reymerswaele for such works, as the example in the National Gallery, London. More recently, however, Lorne Campbell has convincingly argued (The Pictures in the Collection of her Majesty the Queen: The Early Flemish Pictures, Cambridge, 1985, pp. 114-8) that these all derive from adaptations by Reymerswaele of Metsys' work. The introduction of Metsys' name to the present compositional type he suggests is a later, probably mid to late 17th century, conflation of the early attributions to Jan Massys and the resemblance to the work by the more illustrious Quinten.