Hans Memling: Portrait of a man with a Roman coin (1480)

(Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, Antwerp, Belgium)

A painting by the German artist Hans Memling (1430/40 – 1494). Portrait of an unknown man who is holding a Roman sestertius in his left hand. The coin has a portrait of the Roman emperor Nero and the text "NERO CLAVD CAESAR AVG GERM TR P IMP PP" which translates as "Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus, Tribunicia Potestas, Imperator, Pater Patriae" The presence of the coin suggests that the man perhaps is a coin-collector, showing his priced possession or a currency cutter. Painting from 1480.