This remarkable portrait is a work of Pietro Bellotti, an artist who contributed to the emergence of the "painters of reality" in the field of Venetian painting. In this case, the object of interest no longer belongs to the myth, but to the world of the peasants and poor people, to which the artist approaches with empathy. This portrait comes from the seventies when Bellotti reached full expressive maturity.
The man in the picture emerges from the shadows. The gesture of a hand with a raised spoon captures the almost ritual meaning of food, which was inherent in the permanent state of poverty and hunger in the countryside. The wide brim of the worn felt hat with holes in it casts a deep shadow on the face made alive by the direct gaze, firm in his dignity and individuality. The suspended gesture of the hand that brings the spoon to the mouth, the hands "that move even without motion" (Nicolini 1659), the shabby clothes, complete this splendid and solemn portrait of the wise man who could be a sage as well as a farmer. Here, Bellotti captured the deep dignity of the model with impartial objectivity.