Rembrant Self-Portrait, 1660



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Alternate title(s):
Zelfportret met baret.[2]
Portret van Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-1669).[3]




oil on canvas


80.3 × 67.3 cm (31.6 × 26.5 in)

Metropolitan Museum of Art

New York

Accession number



Signed and dated bottom right: Rembrandt // f. 1660

Provenance: Unknown date: Duc de Valentinois, Paris
between 15 July 1802(1802-07-15) and 17 July 1802(1802-07-17): anonymous sale at Lebrun, Paris (auction house)
by 1825(1825): William Waldegrave, 1st Baron Radstock (1753-1825)
13 May 1826(1826-05-13): purchased by Alexander Baring, 1st Baron Ashburton (1774-1848), at the sale of the collection of William Waldegrave, 1st Baron Radstock at Christie’s, London
1848(1848): inherited by Bingham Baring, 2nd Baron Ashburton (1799-1864), from Alexander Baring, 1st Baron Ashburton
1864(1864): inherited by Francis Baring, 3rd Baron Ashburton (1800-1868), from Bingham Baring, 2nd Baron Ashburton
1868(1868): inherited by Alexander Baring, 4th Baron Ashburton (1835-1889), from Francis Baring, 3rd Baron Ashburton
1889(1889): inherited by Francis Denzil Edward, 5th Baron Ashburton, from Alexander Baring, 4th Baron Ashburton
by 1908(1908): Arthur J. Sulley & Co. (art dealers), London
1909/1910: acquired by Charles Sedelmeyer (art dealer), Paris
1909/1910: purchased by Benjamin Altman (1840-1913), New York, from Charles Sedelmeyer, Paris
1913(1913): bequeathed to Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, by Benjamin Altman, New York

From Long Island University:[4]
With his curly grey hair, large black cap and the white shirt edge at his neck peeking out from under a red waistcoat, the 54 year old Rembrandt appears like a kindly, older man. His humble appearance in everyday clothes forms a stark contrast with his almost regal bearing and outfit in the self-portrait of 1658 now hanging in The Frick Collection in New York. Although tempting to read the difference as reflecting Rembrandt’s changing emotional and financial states during this difficult personal period following his bankruptcy and removal from his large house on the St. Antoniebreestraat, there are no written accounts to confirm or deny this. More likely, Rembrandt was experimenting with the depiction of various facial expressions, costumes, and bodily postures, using himself as a readily available model. One intriguing aspect of many of Rembrandt’s later self-portraits is that the mood they convey seems to vary slightly when the viewer moves from one side to the other. This happens as a result of Rembrandt’s heavy use of impasto, or thickly layered paint, which tends to catch light at different angles according to the position from which the painting is viewed.

Prior to Rembrandt’s time, self-portraits were much less common. The ability of artists to paint self-portraits had only recently become easier with the increasing availability of affordable mirrors. Rembrandt no doubt was fascinated with this technology, which allowed him to solve certain artistic problems. In addition, there was an increasing demand for portraits of artists by the growing community of art buyers. In fact, none of Rembrandt’s self-portraits appear in the inventory of his goods made in the 1650s, indicating they had all been sold. Rembrandt’s example spurred others to paint self-portraits, which ultimately served as advertisements for the artists, contributing to their fame and fortune.



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  1. ? Self-portrait | Rembrandt (Rembrandt van Rijn) | All | European Paintings | Collection Database | Works of Art | The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York].
  2. ? RKDimages, Kunstwerknummer 29850.
  3. ? RKDimages, Kunstwerknummer 166086.
  4. ? http://eev.liu.edu/nehrembrandt/works/self1660.htm
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