Rembrandt with Plumed Cap and Lowered Sabre
Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn
Rembrandt made more than ninety self-portraits throughout his life, using his visage to project different personae—soldier, prince, scholar—all mirroring the human condition. He wanted to make his face as known as the single name Rembrandt, which was the way he began to sign his work after 1633. In this etching, made when he was twenty-eight and already successful, he wears a breastplate, a cloak, and a plumed cap—the kind of costume articles he kept in his studio to help create his many guises. Such “exotic” items could have been brought to Holland from Asia in the 1630s by the Dutch East India Company.
Rembrandt experimented with the etching process to achieve a remarkable range of tonal and linear effects, often reworking and printing his compositions in various versions, or states. The first state of this image was a three-quarter portrait that included a lowered sabre in the figure’s hand. For this second state, Rembrandt reduced the image to an oval focused on the face and upper torso. Additionally, this impression has been trimmed very close to the plate edge, something that many early collectors did to fit prints into albums.
Titus Kaphar: Rembrandt’s hand is in his etchings, in particular, is in his drawings as well. It’s . . . such a fingerprint. . . .There’s something about the etchings and the drawings that feels so much more specific and so much harder to copy. . . . It’s such a specific voice, it’s such a specific hand. Yeah, I love that about it. There’s a looseness to it that is incredibly different from the technique in the Wenceslaus Hollar etching, where there is a kind of formalized line over a line in one direction, and then line over line the other direction. Rembrandt is just very loosely sketching this out in a way that I think gives it a lot more energy and a lot more life.
Etching on laid paper
Plate (oval): 5 1/4 x 4 1/4 in. (13.3 x 10.8 cm)
Sheet: 5 1/4 x 4 1/4 in. (13.3 x 10.8 cm) (show scale)
Signed, lower right in plate: "Rembrandt f. 1634"
This item is not on view
Gift of Mrs. Charles Pratt
No known copyright restrictions
This work may be in the public domain in the United States. Works created by United States and non-United States nationals published prior to 1923 are in the public domain, subject to the terms of any applicable treaty or agreement.
You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this work. Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please fill out our online application form
The Museum does not warrant that the use of this work will not infringe on the rights of third parties, such as artists or artists' heirs holding the rights to the work. It is your responsibility to determine and satisfy copyright or other use restrictions before copying, transmitting, or making other use of protected items beyond that allowed by "fair use," as such term is understood under the United States Copyright Act.
The Brooklyn Museum makes no representations or warranties with respect to the application or terms of any international agreement governing copyright protection in the United States for works created by foreign nationals.
For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress
, Cornell University
, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums
, and Copyright Watch
For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright
If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn (Dutch, 1606-1669). Rembrandt with Plumed Cap and Lowered Sabre, 1634. Etching on laid paper, Plate (oval): 5 1/4 x 4 1/4 in. (13.3 x 10.8 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Mrs. Charles Pratt, 57.188.48 (Photo: , 57.188.48_PS9.jpg)
overall, 57.188.48_PS9.jpg., 2019
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome
any additional information you might have.