Rembrandt Self Portrait Silk Scarf

Self-Portrait, Age 23
Rembrandt van Rijn, 1606-1669

Rembrandt’s self-portraits, made throughout his long career, served many different purposes, and in these explorations of his own face and personality remain elusive in many ways. This is one of his first painted self-portraits, and unlike most of the earlier ones, it is not a study of expression or emotion. Indeed, the face, though beautifully lit with evocative shadows, is almost expressionless. The painting is all about costume: the plumed cap, silk scarf, and jacket suggest that this might be an elegant sitter, perhaps even an historic personage. The painting is large and carefully finished, almost as though it were a demonstration piece. In 1629, Rembrandt had not yet received any portrait commissions, so this work might have been done to show off his talents.

On the other hand, by 1629, the twenty-three-year-old artist had already begun to attract critical attention. Self-portraits were a desirable collectible for sophisticated connoisseurs, especially since Rembrandt here wears a golden chain, which indicates the status or nobility of the painter’s profession, although he had not received any such decoration.

100% Silk 
33.5" x 40"

Related Items

Now Offering In-Store Pickup

We have reopened to the public and we can’t wait to see you! We are pleased to offer in-store pickup as a way for you to get your order quickly when you come to visit us. We have greatly limited our capacity in the store, which may incur a wait time. If you are coming to the Museum, we encourage you to place your order with us before your visit so we can have it ready right away for you. Just select "pickup" as your delivery method at checkout and we will notify you when your order is ready.