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Rembrandt van Rijn (Leiden 1606-Amsterdam 1669)

Self-Portrait in a Flat Cap Signed and dated 1642

Oil on panel | 70.3 x 58.8 cm (support, canvas/panel/stretcher external) | RCIN 404120

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This self-portrait dates from the period of the artist’s greatest success, and he presents himself as confident, prosperous and faintly otherworldly. He provides more information than necessary about the broadening nose, sagging flesh, tired eyes and resigned expression. Rembrandt’s work has helped us to recognise truth as the highest goal of portraiture; his contemporaries wanted something more flattering.

Acquired by George IV in 1814, when Prince Regent, from the Baring Collection