David Bailly’s Vanitas Still Life with Portrait of a Young Painter earned him a prominent place in art history. Almost four hundred years after it was made, the painting – a masterpiece that raises all kinds of questions – continues to fascinate art historians. Is this a self-portrait? What do all the objects in the painting refer to? And who is the mysterious woman whose image appears against the wall? This book subjects the painting and the artist to a thorough examination. Bailly lived in Leiden, at the same time as Rembrandt. He painted and drew portraits and still lifes. This book considers his life and work together for the first time, and presents the results of a technical investigation that has revealed the hidden layers in his most important masterpiece.