The walls are hung with damascened leather, on which paintings are displayed. These are, reading from the left and from the top to bottom: on the right of the doorway a Landscape; A Man of War in a Storm in the style of Andries van Ertvelt; a pair of circular landscapes, one moonlit and the other perhaps depicting the Burning of Troy in the style of Herri met de Bles; between them is a Still Life with a Chicken on a Plate, a Basket of Grapes, a Stoneware Jug and a Glass of Wine, in the style perhaps of Clara Peeters; beneath, standing on the floor is a Wooded River Landscape in the style perhaps of Jan Wildens; above the cupboard is an Adoration of the Magi probably by Frans Francken II; An Alpine Landscape in the style of Joos de Momper; a Personification of Abundance with Cupid(?); an Adoration of the Shepherds; a Wooded Landscape in the style of Abraham Govaerts; propped against a chair in the left foreground is an unframed Landscape with windmill deriving from Jan Brueghel I.
The Landscape with a Windmill, propped against the chair, is a composition by Jan Brueghel I, of which a number of variants are known; it comes closest to that of 1611 in the Gemäldegalerie, Dresden, for which see K. Ertz, Jan Brueghel der Ältere (1508-1625), Die Gemälde, etc., Cologne, 1980, no. 237. The Adoration of the Magi in the centre of the far wall is a composition by Francken himself, a variant is in the Musée des Beaux-Arts, Quimper (see Härting, op. cit., p. 260, no. 102). The de Momper and Ertvelt were also depicted in the Picture Gallery by Francken of 1612, which was sold in these Rooms, 17 December 1999, lot 7.
On the floor beside the unframed landscape is a group of tropical shells. Behind is a cupboard, decorated with carved figures, one of which is Charity. Inside the cupboard are visible metalwork and jewellery. In the hall a life-size statue of Apollo. On the cornice are plaster casts(?) of classical style statuettes of a Standing Youth - Hercules(?), A River God with Figures and a Hippopotamus(?) and a Venus and Cupid(?).
Seated to the right of the table is the celebrated scholar and philosopher Justus Lipsius (1547-1606), a greatly influential figure and celebrated neo-Stoic who died in Louvain. He appears much the same as in Rubens's Group Portrait in the Palazzo Pitti where he is depicted bust length; as Vlieghe points out, he 'wears [there] the fur-trimmed gown of a professor at Louvain University' (see H. Vlieghe, Corpus Rubenianum Ludwig Burchard, Part XIX, Rubens Portraits, II, Antwerp - Identified Sitters - 1987, under no. 117). Francken included Lipsius in another Gallery Interior, sold at Christie's, Amsterdam, 8 November 1999, lot 126. The other seated figure is dressed in an earlier style; he would seem to appear as the subject of a portrait, in which he holds a palm(?), which Francken included in the Collector's Cabinet (Duke of Northumberland), of 1617 (Härting, op. cit., no. 445). The portrait presumably connects with Hans Holbein the Younger, and indeed is not dissimilar to the lost portrait of the goldsmith Hans von Zürich in the collection of the Earl of Arundel when engraved by Hollar (see P. Ganz, Hans Holbein D.J., Des Meisters Gemälde, , p. 197 left).
However the personage in the present work appears to be a scholar or writer as one hand rests on a book and the other holds a letter. He and Lipsius ignore each other; the man dressed in contemporary costume standing between them seems to be in the act of introducing or recommending the philosopher. The meaning of the scene enacted remains as yet ambiguous and obscure.
Härting dates the present work to 1611-1615.