The identity of the boy in this portrait was long believed to be Pieter ("Pau" was a diminutive nickname for Pieter) de Wandelaer, however, recent research has more strongly suggested Pau Gansevoort as the sitter. Gansevoort was a doctor who studied medicine with a Boston physician and later held "the reputation of a classical scholar," an unusual avocation for mid-eighteenth-century Albany. The subject is believed to have been between seventeen and twenty-seven years old, and is dressed in a common early-eighteenth century style with a homespun jerkin (jacket). A native goldfinch perches on his hand, and the landscape behind him features the Hudson River and a work yacht flying the British Union Jack flag. Based on similarities in the painting style, this is one of about twenty portraits attributed to the "Gansevoort Limner," who one scholar has identified as Pieter Vanderlyn.