"Tronie" of a Man with a Feathered Beret

Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-1669)
“Tronie” of a Man with a Feathered Beret, c. 1635-40
Oil on panel
24 5/8 x 18 ½ in. (62.5 x 47 cm)
Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis, The Hague
Acquired by Prince William V, 1768
Inv. no. 149

Although sometimes mistaken for a self-portrait, this picture was not intended to represent a specific person. Head studies known as tronies allowed artists to freely experiment with facial expressions, costumes, and lighting effects. Like his contemporaries, Rembrandt often employed his own features when creating these studies, which were sold on the open market. This eclectic costume is not indicative of seventeenth-century Dutch fashion but instead represents the whimsical product of Rembrandt’s imagination.