The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Self-Portrait in a Black Cap
  • Rembrandt (1606 - 1669)
  • Self-Portrait in a Black Cap
  • Netherlands
  • 1637
  • Painting
  • Oil on oak panel
  • Image size: 63 x 50.7 cm, with apsidal arch top
    Frame size: 101 x 88 cm
  • Signature: 'Rembrandt / f.' Could be inscription or signature
  • P52
  • East Galleries I
Further Reading
  • Rembrandt painted a number of self- portraits throughout his career. The present picture, which represents the artist wearing a black beret and a fur cloak, was painted on a panel from the same tree as a self-portrait by the artist of 1634 (Berlin, Gemäldegalerie). Underneath the present composition there is an unfinished half-length portrait of a lady. The panel was heavily cut after the portrait was painted, probably in around 1837 when it was fitted in a frame with a semi-circular top. Originally it was probably rectangular and might have been up to 10 cm higher and 6 cm wider than it is now. The figure was surrounded by much more space than today.
    The attribution of the painting has changed several times over recent decades. After a period of doubt about Rembrandt’s authorship it is now once again regarded as an autograph work by the master. The signature is not wholly characteristic of the artist and appears to have been added by a member of his studio. The picture is comparable to another portrait of Rembrandt, sometimes attributed to Flinck (Sao Paolo, Museu de Arte). It may be dated c.1637 as its execution recalls Rembrandt’s technique in the Man in Polish Costume (1637; Washington, National Gallery of Art).