Constantijn Huygens the Elder (1596 - 1687), Lord of Zuylichem, served in the Dutch embassies in Venice and London and was knighted by James I in 1622. He became secretary and adviser to successive members of the ruling House of Orange, beginning with Prince Frederick Hendrick in 1625. He visited Amsterdam in 1627 and was married there in April of the same year. De Keyser's painting emphasises both the sitter's official role and his private interests. The tapestry on the rear wall of the room, decorated with the Huygens arms, represents the subject of Saint Francis before the Sultan. The elaborate still life of objects on the table includes a musical instrument (a chitarrone), plans apparently showing architectural projects, and a pair of terrestrial and celestial globes.
The painting is dated 1627 on the front of the chimney piece.