A pilgrim bottle could be attached by cords to the waist of a traveller or pilgrim. The subject may be the Greek philosopher Democritus, who is often shown grinning, worldly wise, at a globe that represents the world.

Once thought to be Spanish, a recent attribution to Pietro Bellotti (1627 - 1700) has been proposed.

Key facts

Artist
Full title
An Old Man holding a Pilgrim-Bottle
Date made
probably 1650s
Medium and support
Oil on canvas
Dimensions
112.5 x 91.5 cm
Acquisition credit
Bought, 1945
Inventory number
NG5595
Location in Gallery