The sentimental subject of Rembrandt's son Titus, who died one year before his father, was a favorite of Rembrandt forgers, who occassionally failed to coordinate the date on their canvas with the style of execution and the sitter's age. The present painter has been more careful, evidently referring to an original portrait of Titus such as the one of about 1657 in The Wallace Collection, London, and, for the costume, to a self-portrait or other Rembrandt painting of the period; the same pose and placement of the figure in the composition occur in Rembrandt's Self Portrait of 1652 in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna. The boy's bright eyes and sweetly smiling lips seem as superficial in expression as they are in form. The technique overall might be compared with that of the Man with a Beard (89.15.3).
Inscription: Inscribed (upper left): Rembrandt. f. 1655.
Count Theodor Podstatzky, Bohemia; [art market, Vienna]; E. Secrétan, Paris; [Sedelmeyer, Paris]; Rodolphe Kann, Paris (by 1883–d. 1905; his estate, 1905–7; cat., 1907, vol. 1, no. 66; sold to Duveen); [Duveen, Paris and New York, 1907–8; sold for $148,100 to Altman]; Benjamin Altman, New York (1908–d. 1913)
Paris. École des Beaux-Arts. "Portraits de femmes et d'enfants," April 30–?, 1897, no. 169 (as "Titus Rembrandt," by Rembrandt, lent by Rodolphe Kann).
Amsterdam. Stedelijk Museum. "Rembrandt Schilderijen," September 8–October 31, 1898, no. 89 (lent by Rudolf [Rodolphe] Kann, Paris).
Art Gallery of the Corporation of London. "Works by Early and Modern Painters of the Dutch School," April 28–July 25, 1903, no. 154 (as by Rembrandt, lent by Monsieur X, Paris).
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Art of Rembrandt," January 21–?, 1942, no catalogue.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Rembrandt," 1952, no catalogue.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Rembrandt/Not Rembrandt in The Metropolitan Museum of Art," October 10, 1995–January 7, 1996, no. 41.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Age of Rembrandt: Dutch Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art," September 18, 2007–January 6, 2008, no catalogue.
THIS WORK MAY NOT BE LENT, BY TERMS OF ITS ACQUISITION BY THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART.
Wilhelm [von] Bode. Studien zur Geschichte der holländischen Malerei. Braunschweig, 1883, pp. 512, 597, no. 296, as "Portrait of a Boy," by Rembrandt, in the Rodolphe Kann collection; says it is based upon the same model as the portrait of a boy, now known as "Titus Reading," in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna.
Eugène Dutuit. Tableaux et dessins de Rembrandt. Paris, 1885, pp. 51, 63, 69, no. 324, erroneously identifies it with a portrait of Titus in the sale of King William II of Holland in 1850 (now Wallace Collection, London).
Alfred von Wurzbach. Rembrandt-galerie. Stuttgart, 1886, text vol., no. 303.
Émile Michel. Rembrandt: His Life, His Work, and His Time. English ed. New York, 1894, vol. 2, pp. 66, 239, ill. opp. p. 66, as a portrait of Titus van Rijn.
Maurice Tourneux. "L'exposition des portraits de femmes et d'enfants." Gazette des beaux-arts, 3rd ser., 17 (June 1897), p. 458.
Illustrated Catalogue of 300 Paintings by Old Masters of the Dutch, Flemish, Italian, French, and English Schools. Paris, 1898, p. 157, no. 139, ill. p. 158, as formerly in the collections of Count Podstatzky, Bohemia, and E. Secrétan, Paris.
C[ornelis]. Hofstede de Groot. De Rembrandt Tentoonstelling te Amsterdam. Amsterdam, , unpaginated, no. 27 [text section] and no. 89, pl. 27, compares it with "Titus Reading" (now Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam).
A. "The Rembrandt Exhibition." Art-Journal, n.s., (December 1898), p. 358.
Malcolm Bell. Rembrandt van Rijn and His Work. London, 1899, pp. 81, 158, erroneously as probably the picture formerly in the William II and Brondgeest collections.
Wilhelm [von] Bode. Gemäldesammlung des Herrn Rudolf Kann in Paris. Vienna, 1900, p. III, pl. 2.
Gustav Glück. "Die Gemäldesammlung des Herrn Rudolf Kann in Paris." Die Graphischen Künste 23 (1900), p. 89.
Wilhelm [von] Bode. Gemälde-Sammlung des Herrn Rudolf Kann in Paris. Vienna, 1900, p. V, ill. p. XI (gallery photograph).
Wilhelm [von] Bode with the assistance of C. Hofstede de Groot. The Complete Work of Rembrandt. Vol. 6, Paris, 1901, p. 18, no. 442, pl. 442.
Max J. Friedländer. "Mr. Rudolf Kann's Picture Gallery in Paris." Art-Journal, n.s., (1901), p. 156, ill., as a portrait of Titus by Rembrandt, painted in 1655.
Auguste Marguillier. "La collection de M. Rodolphe Kann." Les arts 2 (February 1903), p. 20, ill. p. 21.
"The Dutch Exhibition at the Guildhall: Article I.—The Old Masters." Burlington Magazine 2 (June 1903), p. 51, compares it with the portrait in the Wallace Collection.
Adolf Rosenberg. Rembrandt, des Meisters Gemälde. Stuttgart, 1904, pp. XXXI, 261, ill. p. 226.
Wilhelm R. Valentiner. Rembrandt und seine Umgebung. Strasbourg, 1905, p. 50.
E. W. Moes. Iconographia Batava: Beredeneerde Lijst van Geschilderde en Gebeeldhouwde Portretten van Noord-Nederlanders in Vorige Eeuwen. Vol. 2, Amsterdam, 1905, p. 317, no. 6694-2.
Adolf Rosenberg. Rembrandt, des Meisters Gemälde. 2nd ed. Stuttgart, 1906, pp. 426, 434, ill. p. 265.
Jan Veth. Rembrandt's Leven en Kunst. Amsterdam, 1906, p. 128, pl. 36.
Catalogue of the Rodolphe Kann Collection: Pictures. Paris, 1907, vol. 1, pp. II–III, 67, no. 66, ill.
Marcel Nicolle. "La Collection Rodolphe Kann." Revue de l'art ancien et moderne 23 (January–June 1908), p. 194.
Adolf Rosenberg. Rembrandt, des Meisters Gemälde. Ed. W. R. Valentiner. 3rd ed. Stuttgart, 1909, p. 562, ill. p. 413.
Wilhelm R. Valentiner. The Art of the Low Countries. English ed. Garden City, N.Y., 1914, p. 247, no. 65.
Handbook of the Benjamin Altman Collection. New York, 1914, pp. 11–12, no. 6.
Wilhelm R. Valentiner. "The Rembrandts of the Altman Collection: I." Art in America 2 (August 1914), pp. 351, 361.
C[ornelis]. Hofstede de Groot. A Catalogue Raisonné of the Works of the Most Eminent Dutch Painters of the Seventeenth Century. Ed. Edward G. Hawke. Vol. 6, London, 1916, p. 334, no. 706.
Wilhelm R. Valentiner. Rembrandt wiedergefundene Gemälde. Stuttgart, 1921, p. 126.
François Monod. "La Galerie Altman au Metropolitan Museum de New-York (2e article)." Gazette des beaux-arts, 5th ser., 8 (November 1923), p. 304, ill. p. 303.
John C. van Dyke. Rembrandt and His School. New York, 1923, p. 78, pl. XIII, attributes it to Barent Fabritius.
D. S. Meldrum. Rembrandt's Paintings. London, 1923, pp. 138, 199, pl. CCCXLII.
Alan Burroughs. "Rembrandts in the Metropolitan Museum." The Arts 4 (November 1923), p. 272, questions the attribution to Rembrandt "on account of its unrealistic, dreamy quality" and "thoughtless composition".
Wilhelm R. Valentiner. Rembrandt Paintings in America. New York, 1931, unpaginated, no. 120, pl. 120.
A[braham]. Bredius. Rembrandt Gemälde. Vienna, 1935, p. 6, no. 121, pl. 121, confuses it with Hofstede de Groot no. 702 [see Ref. 1916].
Duveen Pictures in Public Collections of America. New York, 1941, unpaginated, no. 197, ill.
Emil Kieser. "Über Rembrandts Verhältnis zur Antike." Zeitschrift für Kunstgeschichte 10, no. 4/5 (1941/42), p. 157 n. 12.
William M. Ivins Jr. "The Art of Rembrandt." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 37 (January 1942), p. 3.
Introduction by William M. Ivins Jr. The Unseen Rembrandt. New York, 1942, pls. 15–16 (overall and detail).
Julius S. Held. "Rembrandt: The Self-Education of an Artist." Art News 40 (February 1–14, 1942), p. 28.
Richard Hamann. Rembrandt. Potsdam, 1948, p. 112, pl. 80.
Kurt Bauch. Rembrandt Gemälde. Berlin, 1966, p. 22, pl. 412.
Paolo Lecaldano inL'opera pittorica completa di Rembrandt. Milan, 1969, ill. p. 131, includes it among works of doubtful attribution.
Horst Gerson, ed. Rembrandt: The Complete Edition of the Paintings. By A[braham]. Bredius. 3rd ed. London, 1969, p. 558, no. 121, ill. p. 109, calls it wrongly signed, and certainly an eighteenth- or nineteenth-century imitation.
Calvin Tomkins. Merchants and Masterpieces: The Story of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1970, p. 172 [rev., enl. ed., 1989].
Francis Haskell. "The Benjamin Altman Bequest." Metropolitan Museum Journal 3 (1970), p. 263.
Jacques Foucart inLe siècle de Rembrandt: Tableaux hollandais des collections publiques françaises. Exh. cat., Petit Palais. Paris, 1970, p. 192, under no. 184, as definitively removed from Rembrandt's oeuvre, with reason, by Gerson [see Ref. 1969].
H. Gerson. "Zur Nachwirkung von Rembrandts Kunst." Neue Beiträge zur Rembrandt-Forschung. Ed. Otto v[on]. Simson and Jan Kelch. Berlin, 1973, p. 216.
Hubert von Sonnenburg in "Technical Aspects: Scientific Examination." Rembrandt After Three Hundred Years. Chicago, 1973, p. 89, states that the "color scheme does not relate to a single established Rembrandt", but notes that technical analysis does not exclude a seventeenth-century origin.
Horst Gerson in "Rembrandt's Workshop and Assistants." Rembrandt After Three Hundred Years. Chicago, 1973, p. 27, calls it a "forthright imitation of a later period".
Edward Fowles. Memories of Duveen Brothers. London, 1976, p. 40.
Christopher Brown. "Rembrandt's 'Portrait of a Boy'." Connoisseur 193 (November 1976), p. 219 n. 4, as a "recent imitation".
J. Bolten and H. Bolten-Rempt. The Hidden Rembrandt. Milan, 1977, p. 196, no. 440, ill.
Walter L. Strauss and Marjon van der Meulen. The Rembrandt Documents. New York, 1979, p. 324, list it among works dated 1655 and notes that it is "not accepted by Gerson".
Maryan W. Ainsworth et al. Art and Autoradiography: Insights into the Genesis of Paintings by Rembrandt, Van Dyck, and Vermeer. New York, 1982, p. 97 n. 5, as "missing the characteristic buildup of paint layers seen in autoradiographs of seventeenth-century Dutch paintings".
Colin Simpson. Artful Partners: Bernard Berenson and Joseph Duveen. New York, 1986, pp. 113, 297 [British ed., "The Partnership: The Secret Association of Bernard Berenson and Joseph Duveen," London, 1987].
Walter Liedtke. "Dutch Paintings in America: The Collectors and Their Ideals." Great Dutch Paintings from America. Exh. cat., Mauritshuis, The Hague. Zwolle, The Netherlands, 1990, pp. 48, 58 n. 156.
Ernst van de Wetering inFake? The Art of Deception. Ed. Mark Jones et al. Exh. cat., British Museum. London, 1990, p. 130.
John Ingamells. The Wallace Collection: Catalogue of Pictures. Vol. 4, Dutch and Flemish. London, 1992, p. 282, under no. P29, erroneously as formerly in the Hermitage, St. Petersburg.
Walter Liedtke inRembrandt/Not Rembrandt in The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Aspects of Connoisseurship. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Vol. 2, "Paintings, Drawings, and Prints: Art-Historical Perspectives."New York, , pp. 119, 136–37, no. 41, ill. (color), as in the style of Rembrandt; dates it to the second half of the seventeenth century.
Hubert von Sonnenburg. Rembrandt/Not Rembrandt in The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Aspects of Connoisseurship. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Vol. 1, "Paintings: Problems and Issues."New York, 1995, pp. 4, 30, 32, 132, no. 41, ill. p. 133 (color), figs. 3 (view of Paintings Conservation studio), 166 (color detail), as among works by "nameless Rembrandt followers, possibly during the master's lifetime".
Catherine B. Scallen. Rembrandt, Reputation, and the Practice of Connoisseurship. Amsterdam, 2004, p. 363 n. 99, p. 374 n. 28, p. 375 n. 49.
León Krempel. Holländische Gemälde im Städel 1550–1800. Vol. 2, Künstler geboren 1615 bis 1630. Petersberg, Germany, 2005, p. 148, fig. 110.
Esmée Quodbach. "The Age of Rembrandt: Dutch Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 65 (Summer 2007), pp. 32, 35.
Walter Liedtke. Dutch Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2007, vol. 2, pp. 708, 776, 778–81, no. 177, colorpl. 177, favors a dating between about 1670 and 1700, but notes that "a slightly later date cannot be excluded".
George S. Keyes inRembrandt in America: Collecting and Connoisseurship. Exh. cat., North Carolina Museum of Art. New York, 2011, pp. 73–74, 84 n. 41.