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Rembrandt image

Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (1606–1669)
Self-Portrait in a Cap, 1630
Etching, only state
51 x 46 mm
Gift of J. P. Morgan, Jr., 1924; RvR 442
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Small etchings made before the mirror are among Rembrandt's earliest efforts at recording his own likeness. Dating from the Leiden years—about 1627–30—they display a range of techniques and facial expressions. A boyish study shows his youthful anxiousness, emphasized by the frenzied quality of the etched line. Others depicts him in a perturbed mood, staring disapprovingly at the viewer, or with furrowed brow, appearing to be shouting. In a more finished example he employed dramatic side lighting and high contrasts of light and shadow. Here, he expresses surprise and wide-eyed wonder.

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The programs of The Morgan Library & Museum are made possible with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Background images: Photography by Todd Eberle unless otherwise noted. © 2006 Todd Eberle.