Looking at The Man in the Chair (1876), you probably won’t find the British Museum’s comment about Henri de Braekeleer to be a revelation: “Strongly influenced by seventeenth-century Dutch and Flemish genre painting.”
Certainly the bright, clear light streaming in through the open windows—and the red chair (with its brass studs and turned legs) that the light falls on—evoke the Dutch Golden Age.
The gilt-leather wall hangings, called Cuir de Cordoue, practically quote Pieter de Hooch:
Interestingly, though, a few elements of the scene stand clearly (and deliberately) anachronic to that influence.
Most obvious, of course, is the tired—and modern—subject seated in the chair.
Directly above him, though, is a painting that says “Titian” more than it says “de Hooch.” And above that, a sculpture of a saintly bishop that more than likely predates the Protestant Reformation.
Now, either or both could easily be original to a 17th-century Dutch interior: an interest in the art of the past didn’t spring up, whole and unprecedented, in the middle of the 19th century.
But they do suggest an awareness, on de Braekeleer’s part, of his own work’s resonance with the past he evokes.