The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Titus, the Artist's Son
  • Rembrandt (1606 - 1669)
  • Titus, the Artist's Son
  • Netherlands
  • c. 1657
  • Painting
  • Oil on canvas
  • Image size: 68.5 x 57.3 cm
    Object size: 99.5 x 87 x 10.5 cm
  • Signature: 'R…'
  • P29
  • East Galleries I
Further Reading
  • Titus van Rijn (1641-68) was the only one of Rembrandt’s four children by his first wife Saskia to survive infancy. A portrait of Titus looking up from his desk, dated 1655, is in the Boijmans-van-Beuningen Museum, Rotterdam. In the present painting, Titus appears to be about two years older, so it may be dated to c.1657. The year 1657 was a troubled one for Rembrandt and his family. The previous year the artist had been declared bankrupt and the fifteen-year-old Titus and his stepmother Hendrickje Stoffels were forced to administer the sale of Rembrandt’s pictures and the production of his etchings following the legal constraints imposed upon the painter by the Guild. Rembrandt sympathetically captures the young man’s serious gaze, a look very different in feeling from the childlike glance seen in the Rotterdam picture. Titus went on to study painting with his father, but sadly died in the year of his marriage, 1668, before the birth of his own daughter, Titia. Rembrandt himself died the following year and was buried in the Westerkerk, Amsterdam.
    The portrait of Titus was acquired by the 4th Marquess of Hertford at the Willem II of Holland sale in the Hague in 1850 for 6,000 florins. Of the twelve Rembrandts thought to be in the Collection when it was bequeathed to the Nation in 1897, this is the only work to retain its full attribution to Rembrandt unchallenged.