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Rembrandt van Rijn
Self-Portrait with Cap Pulled Forward
Around 1630

Self-Portrait with Cap Pulled Forward is a fine example of Rembrandt’s lifelong interest in depicting his own likeness and in exploring the peculiarities of the human face. Over the course of his career, Rembrandt produced approximately 80 self-portraits, and while many of these are informal in nature, they reveal the artist’s acute observation and his tremendous ability of capturing fleeting emotions. In Self-Portrait with Cap Pulled Forward a man with a bulbous nose wearing a heavy cap gazes into the distance. Emphasis is directly placed on conveying the individual’s facial expression; accordingly, one cannot see the figure’s arms or hands. Light penetrates the image from the right, casting a shadow across certain parts of his body. Hatching of different densities leads to contrasts between dark and light passages. Subtle highlights demonstrate the artist’s incredible command of the etched medium, including the expressive lines that describe his hair. A rare print of diminutive size, Self-Portrait with Cap Pulled Forward served the artist to refine his portrait skills before he launched his career in Amsterdam.

 
Rembrandt van Rijn
Leiden, Netherlands 1606–Amsterdam, Netherlands 1669
Self-Portrait with Cap Pulled Forward
Around 1630
Etching on paper, state V/VI
5.1 x 4.2 cm
Gift of Freda and Irwin Browns, 2020
63-011.05

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