Ter Borch portrays himself here as a distinguished gentleman of the regent class. He wears lavish clothing with striking ribboned shoes, a lace ruffle and long wig. The painter was a member of Deventer’s town council and seems to want to demonstrate his social success with this full-length portrait. A portrait like this was unconventional for burghers, but Ter Borch made it his trademark.
Ter Borch also painted his wife Geertruyd Mathijssen. Their portraits probably hung next to each other as pendants in the family circle, in remembrance of the couple. They were later sold and Geertruyd’s portrait has been lost – hopefully one day we will find her again.