SELF-PORTRAIT IN A VELVET CAP WITH PLUME

Rembrandt Van Rijn
SELF-PORTRAIT IN A VELVET CAP WITH PLUME
Etching
1638

An original Rembrandt Van Rijn Etching.

1638

Original etching printed in black ink on laid paper.

A 19th century impression of Bartsch’s only state, Usticke’s second state of three, New Hollstein’s third state of four, printed after the addition of the cross-hatching at the base of the feather and along the brim of the cap above the eyes. 

Catalog: Bartsch 20; Hind 156; Biorklund-Barnard 38-B; Usticke 20 ii/iii; New Hollstein 170 iii/iv.

Platemark: 5 1/4 x 4 inches Sheet size: 5 3/4 x 4 1/2 inches

 

Rembrandt’s self-portraits always tell us how he feels about himself. In 1638 he feels prosperous: his shirt and jacket are expensive and stylish; the plain artist’s beret has been supplanted by a crushed velvet hat with a plume; he has grown whiskers – all befitting a man with much revenue, a costly household and admiring students. Rembrandt also feels cocky: his bearing is aristocratic; his face and eyes convey a certain smugness; his hand is thrust jauntily into the folds of his garment.The scale and ostentation of this self-portrait contrast sharply with the modest, intimate studies of 1630-1631, which reveal only his head and shoulders. Yet within five years of this fine reflection of 1638, Rembrandt’s popularity as a portraitist for the wealthy Amsterdam bourgeoisie would fade, his beloved wife Saskia and his mother would be dead, and the resulting financial and emotional turmoil would bring a mature understanding of human fragility to Rembrandt’s art and his views of himself.

Share
Tweet
Pin
+1