This beautifully signed work by Teniers can be dated to around 1650. It is remarkably large for a genre scene by the master (his interiors are usually smaller and painted on panel in this period).
The work is probably an allegory of time (and possibly winter): the old man is sitting with his fur cape and muff, staring quietly ahead; in the niche on the left, we see an hourglass halfway up. Judging by his clothing, we are dealing with a scholar, philosopher or even an alchemist (see the jar next to the hourglass).
A copy after our original version can be found in the Kunsthalle in Karlsruhe (inv. 203, see fig. 1). The same chair and a man in almost the same dress in Teniers' "The Covetous Man" (National Gallery, London, c. 1648, see fig. 2).
Signed in the edge of the niche: D. Teniers F.
Oil on canvas, 61 x 54,5 cm