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Storytelling in Miniature

Rembrandt van Rijn
Dutch, 1606–1669

Rembrandt Wearing a Soft Cap

Etching, 1634
2 x 1 3/4 in.
Given in memory of Grace J. Hitchcock, 1969.350

When Rembrandt arrived in Amsterdam in 1631, his career as a portrait painter began to flourish. He also executed several commissions for etched portraits, but most of his portrait etchings were of subjects of his own choosing: family members, studies of heads, neighbors in costume, beggars, and frequently himself. Rembrandt produced this self-portrait when he was 28 years old. The soft cap and long curly hair give the artist a rakish appearance, while the straightforward stare suggests confidence.