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Rembrandt van Rijn (Leiden 1606-Amsterdam 1669)

A Rabbi with a Cap Dated 1635

Oil on panel | 72.6 x 62.3 cm (support, canvas/panel/str external) | RCIN 405519

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This type of character head was common in Dutch art – they called it a tronie, meaning something like ‘mug-shot’. In this case Rembrandt’s model is from Amsterdam’s Jewish community. He uses the format to explore costumes and expressions for his Old Testament subjects. He employs a looser style of painting than would have been appropriate for his commissioned portraits at this time.