Rembrandt (Rembrandt van Rijn) (Dutch, 16061669)
Oil on wood; Oval, 29 3/4 x 20 1/2 in. (75.6 x 52.1 cm)
Gift of Mrs. Lincoln Ellsworth, in memory of Lincoln Ellsworth, 1964 (64.126)
This portrait, dating from Rembrandt's first year in Amsterdam, is remarkable for its quality and condition. The subtleties of light and texture found in the rugged face and wispy hair, in the parchmentlike layers of the ruff, and even in the black costume are effects that the artist had gradually mastered in his native Leiden during the preceding few years. A pendant portrait of a woman has not been convincingly identified, and the sitter may have been a bachelor. The ebony frame is a faithful reproduction of the type used almost invariably for oval portraits in the Netherlands during the 1630s.