Jean Lucas Pels, a prominent and wealthy merchant and entrepreneur of his time, was married to Susanna Noirot. The coat of arms of the Pels family is identifiable in the four corners surrounding the image. The arms of Noirot are in the upper left, accompanied by those of Vegelmans (the branch of the mother of the sitter) in the upper right corner.
A portrait of Jean Lucas Pels's daughter, Catrina Pels (1665-1704), by Nicolaes Maes (with Otto Naumann, New York) bears the same arrangement of coat-of-arms of the Noirot and Vegelmans family. Catrina Pels's portrait was presumably executed to commemorate her marriage to Johannes Bouwens (1663-1720) on February 28, 1685. The portrait of Catrina's husband (whereabouts unknown) was also painted by Maes and bears the same arrangement of coats-of-arms in the corners (see L. Krempel, Studien zu de datierten Gemälden des Nicolaes Maes, Petersberg, 2000, cat. no. 233, pl. 314). Although Krempel attributes the portrait of Jean Lucas Pels to Johann Friedrich Bodecker (op. cit., cat. no. 233a, pl. 382), we believe there is more resemblance with Nicolaes Maes. The three paintings most likely formed part of a series, as the sizes and placement of arms are almost identical.