He spent thirty years as a trader sailing up and down the seven seas with the painting hanging in his cabin. He'd gotten it on his first ever voyage on board his own ship, a native canoe off the coast of Africa had been sinking, and when his vessel pulled up beside, the sole occupant was insistent on it being taken, before willingly drowning.
It wasn't very good, a generic European landscape. He assumed it was some sort of superstitious nonsense from backwards people.
Of course, he never bothered to actually ask anyone else what they saw in the frame.