Van Dyck produced many portraits of men in armour during his stay in Genoa in the 1620s. This man’s armour and warrior’s helmet nearby could signify that he is a soldier, while the spurs and riding crop indicate that he is a skilful horseman. Traditionally, armorial portraits were used by kings and nobles as outward displays of strength, command and wealth. From 1625-26, the Republic of Genoa was at war with the House of Savoy, and during this period Van Dyck painted many wealthy Genoese men in military armour. Such portraits can be understood not only as symbolic of the sitters’ allegiance to Genoa, but also as a display of wealth and powerful social status.