In 2013 an Amsterdam art dealer found a description of a certain Portrait d’homme devant une sculpture by Barend Graat (1628-1709), a mediocre Amsterdam painter, in a Parisian auction catalogue. Constant Vecht recognised the man as a young Spinoza and was certain he had found the portrait people had been searching for for centuries. The dealer managed to buy the portrait in Paris for 3000 euros plus 750 euros in auction fees, and took a train from Gare du Nord to Amsterdam with the canvas under his arm.
If it depicts Spinoza in his thirties, then we finally have the one portrait of the great philosopher painted during his lifetime. This canvas is therefore the forerunner to the famous portrait by an unknown painter, thought to date back to 1680-1700, which hangs in the collection of the Herzog August Library in Wolfenbüttel and the engraving from c. 1680 by an unknown engraver which has been preserved at the Rijksmuseum.