(b. ca. 1496, Amsterdam, d. 1567, Amsterdam)

Pompeius Occo

Oil on panel, 66 x 54 cm
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

The escutcheon hanging from the branch tells us that this is Pompeius Occo: a man from East Friesland who had become an Amsterdam banker and merchant with international connections, a humanist and a prominent citizen, and also King Christian II of Denmark's diplomatic representative in the Netherlands. Jacobsz portrayed the banker as a self-assured individual. His attributes - a skull and a carnation - are references to Occo's religion, in which this earthly existence is merely transient but there is hope of eternal life. This picture of Occo is the first Renaissance portrait by an Amsterdam painter.