Portrait of Abraham de Potter, Amsterdam Silk Merchant, Carel Fabritius, 1649
At first sight, this portrait appears fairly conventional. The sitter is dressed in sober black, and the stiff pleated ruff was no longer particularly fashionable in 1649. However, the background is unusual: Potter stands before a weathered plastered wall. Above his signature, Fabritius painted a small, deceptively real nail, which seems to stick out of the canvas.