Compared with Rembrandt's formal portraits of the same year, this picture is remarkable for its brilliant brushwork and dramatic illumination. It was probably painted shortly after he moved from his native Leiden to Amsterdam, and in its exotic subject and style was surely intended for a knowledgeable collector. Pictures of imaginary Persian, Ottoman, or otherwise "Oriental" princes were popular at the time because of new trade contacts between the Dutch and the Middle East. However, the model is a Dutchman who appears in other paintings by Rembrandt and by artists in his circle.
The majestic picture once known as The Noble Slav was painted by Rembrandt in 1632, when he was twenty-six years old and eager to make an impression on potential patrons in Amsterdam and at the court of The Hague. In its exotic subject, dramatic style, and splendid execution, the canvas—one of the artist's first paintings on that support—was intended for the appreciation of connoisseurs. One measure of Rembrandt's ambition is the picture's size, which significantly exceeds that of any work by the artist dating from before 1632 and is larger than any of his single-figure paintings dating from throughout the 1630s, with the exception of a few full-length portraits.
Although a Dutch model was employed, the subject is a type of "Oriental" character—Turkish or Persian—and most likely not a historical personage. The Noble Slav, a title first employed in print by Bode (1897), is not so fanciful as others assigned to Rembrandt figures in nineteenth-century catalogues. In that period, numerous inhabitants of Slavic lands such as Serbia still wore flowing robes and turbans, a custom that caught the notice of northern European travelers. The Germanic features of Rembrandt's model and perhaps his heavily fur-lined cloak would have prompted Bode to reject Middle Eastern identification in favor of Middle European nomenclature. There is abundant artistic and historical evidence that Rembrandt's figure would have been recognized in the 1630s as a Turkish prince or sultan, despite the familiarity of his face. Pictures of "Orientals" by Rembrandt, Jan Lievens, and artists in their circle may be placed in the context of history paintings, of tronies (character heads), and of contemporaneous contacts between the Dutch Republic and the Ottoman Empire, which presumably sparked the imaginations of artists and collectors. These categories would have been linked together in Rembrandt's mind by the notion that Middle Eastern dress of the present and recent past was a reliable reflection of what was worn in the Holy Land in biblical times.
The same model appears in a painting by Jacob Backer (1608–1651) of about 1630–32, the Hippocrates Visiting Democritus in Abdera (Alfred and Isael Bader, Milwaukee) and, probably, in Rembrandt's 1632 canvas of the Apostle Peter (Nationalmuseum, Stockholm). The model is found again in a drawing and a few bust-length tronies by Backer, all dating from the early 1630s. In his Leiden works especially, Rembrandt was inclined to dwell upon the physical traits of old age and long experience, but here he transforms the stooped and rather weary figure known from Backer's oeuvre into a man of impressive vigor and authority.
[2011; adapted from Liedtke 2007]
Inscription: Signed and dated (lower right): RHL·van Rijn [initials in monogram] / 1632
?Marten Looten, Amsterdam; ?his grandson, Govert Looten (until 1729; his sale, Amsterdam, March 31, 1729, no. 7, as "Een Turkse Vorst of Primo Vizier," by Rembrandt, for fl. 71); Ralph Palmer, London (until d. 1755; his estate sale, Prestage, London, April 11, 1755, no. 32, as "A Turkish Bashaw," for £28.17 to Methuen); Sir Paul Methuen, London (1755–d. 1757); his cousin, Paul Methuen, Corsham Court, Chippenham, Wiltshire (1757–d. 1795); his son, Paul Cobb Methuen, Corsham Court (1795–d. 1816); his son, Paul Methuen, 1st Baron Methuen, Corsham Court (1816–at least 1838); [Chrétien J. Nieuwenhuys, London, until 1845; sold to William II]; William II, King of the Netherlands (1845–d. 1849; his estate sale, De Vries, Roos & Brondgeest, The Hague, August 12, 1850, no. 91, for fl. 4,500 to Nieuwenhuys); [Chrétien J. Nieuwenhuys, London, from 1850]; ?George Tomline, Orwell Park, Ipswich; [Charles J. Wertheimer, London, ?until 1882–85; sold to Mrs. Vanderbilt]; Mr. and Mrs. William K. Vanderbilt, New York (probably from 1882–85, until 1895); William K. Vanderbilt (1895–d. 1920)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Hudson-Fulton Celebration," September–November 1909, no. 79 (lent by Mr. W. K. Vanderbilt, New York).
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Art of Rembrandt," January 21–?, 1942, no catalogue.
New York. Wildenstein. "Loan Exhibition of Rembrandt," January 19–February 25, 1950, no. 3 (as "Portrait of a Distinguished Oriental").
Philadelphia Museum of Art. "Diamond Jubilee Exhibition: Masterpieces of Painting," November 4, 1950–February 11, 1951, no. 38.
Amsterdam. Rijksmuseum. "Rembrandt Tentoonstelling," May 18–August 5, 1956, no. 20.
Rotterdam. Museum Boymans. "Rembrandt Tentoonstelling," August 8–October 21, 1956, no. 20.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "In the Presence of Kings: Royal Treasures from the Collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art," April 18–June 11, 1967, no. 29.
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. "Masterpieces of Painting in The Metropolitan Museum of Art," September 16–November 1, 1970, unnumbered cat. (p. 42).
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Masterpieces of Fifty Centuries," November 15, 1970–February 15, 1971, no. 280.
Leningrad [St. Petersburg]. State Hermitage Museum. "100 Paintings from the Metropolitan Museum," May 22–July 27, 1975, no. 22.
Moscow. State Pushkin Museum. "100 Paintings from the Metropolitan Museum," August 28–November 2, 1975, no. 22.
Gemäldegalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin. "Rembrandt: The Master & His Workshop," September 12–November 10, 1991, no. 9.
Amsterdam. Rijksmuseum. "Rembrandt: The Master & His Workshop," December 4, 1991–March 1, 1992, no. 9.
London. National Gallery. "Rembrandt: The Master & His Workshop," March 26–May 24, 1992, no. 9.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Rembrandt/Not Rembrandt in The Metropolitan Museum of Art," October 10, 1995–January 7, 1996, no. 2.
Copenhagen. Statens Museum for Kunst. "Rembrandt? The Master and His Workshop," February 4–May 14, 2006, no. 5.
London. Dulwich Picture Gallery. "Rembrandt & Co: Dealing in Masterpieces," June 7–September 3, 2006, unnumbered cat.
Amsterdam. Museum Het Rembrandthuis. "Rembrandt en Uylenburgh, handel in meesterwerken," September 16–December 10, 2006, unnumbered cat.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Age of Rembrandt: Dutch Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art," September 18, 2007–January 6, 2008, no catalogue.
Dordrechts Museum. "Willem II—Kunstkoning," March 5–June 15, 2014, no. 142.
Gerard Hoet. Catalogus of Naamlyst van Schilderyen, met derzelver pryzen, zedert een langen reeks van Jaaren zoo in Holland als op andere Plaatzen in het openbaar verkogt. Vol. 1, The Hague, 1752, p. 333, as a portrait of a Turkish prince or First Vizier by Rembrandt, sold for fl. 70 in the Govert Looten sale of 1729, possibly this picture.
London and its Environs Described. London, 1761, vol. 3, p. 85, as a portrait of a Turk by Rembrandt.
[Thomas Martyn]. The English Connoisseur: Containing an Account of Whatever is Curious in Painting, Sculpture, &c. in the Palaces and Seats of the Nobility and Principal Gentry of England, Both in Town and Country. London, 1766, vol. 2, p. 19, as in the Methuen collection.
John Britton. An Historical Account of Corsham House, in Wiltshire. London, 1806, p. 38, no. 52, gives the dimensions as 51 x 64 in.
John Smith. A Catalogue Raisonné of the Works of the Most Eminent Dutch, Flemish, and French Painters. Vol. 7, London, 1836, p. 105, no. 285, as "A Jew Rabbi"; gives the dimensions as about 48 x 38 in., and states that there is an anonymous mezzotint after it.
G[ustav]. F[riedrich]. Waagen. Works of Art and Artists in England. London, 1838, vol. 3, p. 101.
G[ustav]. F[riedrich]. Waagen. Kunstwerke und Künstler in England und Paris. Vol. 2, Kunstwerke und Künstler in England. Berlin, 1838, p. 311.
C. Vosmaer. Rembrandt, sa vie et ses ouevres. 2nd ed. The Hague, 1877, pp. 116, 494, as "un portrait de fantaisie", sold for 4,500 florins to Nieuwenhuys an the 1850 sale of William II, King of the Netherlands; mentions a lithograph by Eilbracht.
Eugène Dutuit. Tableaux et dessins de Rembrandt. Paris, 1885, pp. 18, 55, 66, no. 365, lists it under lost or doubtful paintings, but notes that it is possibly identical with the work in the 1850 sale of William II.
Alfred von Wurzbach. Rembrandt-galerie. Stuttgart, 1886, text vol., no. 450.
W. Bode. "Alte Kunstwerke in den Sammlungen der Vereinigten Staaten." Zeitschrift für bildende Kunst, n.s., 6, no. 1 (1895), p. 73, as formerly at Orwell Park and currently in the Twombly collection.
Wilhelm [von] Bode with the assistance of C. Hofstede de Groot. The Complete Work of Rembrandt. Vol. 2, Paris, 1897, p. 170, no. 145, pl. 145, [erroneously?] as in the Twombly collection, and as in the Wertheimer collection in 1886.
Adolf Rosenberg. Rembrandt, des Meisters Gemälde. 2nd ed. Stuttgart, 1906, pp. 395, 425, 435, ill. p. 83.
F. Schmidt-Degener. "Rembrandt imitateur de Claus Sluter et de Jean van Eyck." Gazette des beaux-arts, 3rd ser., 36 (August 1906), p. 97.
Adolf Rosenberg. Rembrandt, des Meisters Gemälde. Ed. W. R. Valentiner. 3rd ed. Stuttgart, 1909, pp. 553, 569, 589, ill. p. 120.
Wilhelm R. Valentiner. The Hudson-Fulton Celebration: Catalogue of an Exhibition Held in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1909, vol. 1, p. 80, no. 79, ill. opp. p. 80.
Joseph Breck. "L'art hollandais à l'exposition Hudson-Fulton à New York." L'art flamand & hollandais 13, no. 2 (1910), p. 54 [published in Dutch in Onze Kunst 17 (January 1910), p. 10].
E[mil]. Waldmann. "Die Ausstellung Holländischer Gemälde des 17. Jahrhunderts in New York." Zeitschrift für bildende Kunst, n.s., 21, no. 4 (1910), p. 73.
C[ornelis]. Hofstede de Groot. A Catalogue Raisonné of the Works of the Most Eminent Dutch Painters of the Seventeenth Century. Ed. Edward G. Hawke. Vol. 6, London, 1916, pp. 198–99, no. 349, as engraved in reverse by A. L. Zeelander; mentions a copy in the collection of Lord de Saumarez in 1912, and a copy of the head in the Chanenko collection, Kiev (now Kiev Museum).
Olof Granberg. "Fyra Nyare Rembrandt-Taflor." Tidskrift för konstvetenskap 1 (1916), p. 106.
"The William K. Vanderbilt Bequest." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 15 (December 1920), p. 268, ill. p. 269, notes that the model resembles Rembrandt's father.
Wilhelm R. Valentiner. Rembrandt wiedergefundene Gemälde. Stuttgart, 1921, p. 124.
Bryson Burroughs. The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Catalogue of Paintings. 6th ed. New York, 1922, p. 249, states that Rembrandt's father probably posed for it.
John C. van Dyke. Rembrandt and His School. New York, 1923, p. 114, pl. XXV-97, attributes it to Salomon Koninck.
D. S. Meldrum. Rembrandt's Paintings. London, 1923, p. 191, pl. CXXXVI, as "Study of an Oriental".
Alan Burroughs. "Rembrandts in the Metropolitan Museum." The Arts 4 (November 1923), p. 270, ill. opp. p. 270.
Mrs. Oliver H. P. Belmont and Matilda R. Young. Memoir of Alva Murray (Smith) Vanderbilt Belmont.  [typescript in the Matilda Young Papers, William Perkins Library, Duke University, Durham, N.C.; see Ref. Maxwell 1991], states that she purchased this work, known as "the Moldavian Chief," from Wertheimer in London.
W. R. Valentiner. "Important Rembrandts in American Collections." Art News 28 (April 26, 1930), p. 3.
Wilhelm R. Valentiner. Rembrandt Paintings in America. New York, 1931, unpaginated, no. 15, pl. 15, states that it shows the beginning of Rembrandt's interest in Oriental figures and costumes during his first Amsterdam period and the development of his dramatic style of 1634–37.
A[braham]. Bredius. Rembrandt Gemälde. Vienna, 1935, p. 8, no. 169, pl. 169.
William M. Ivins Jr. "The Art of Rembrandt." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 37 (January 1942), p. 3.
Introduction by William M. Ivins Jr. The Unseen Rembrandt. New York, 1942, pls. 1–2 (overall and detail).
Julius S. Held. "Rembrandt: The Self-Education of an Artist." Art News 40 (February 1–14, 1942), pp. 12, 14, ill.
Josephine L. Allen. "The Museum's Rembrandts." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 4 (November 1945), p. 73.
Ludwig Münz. "Rembrandts Bild von Mutter und Vater." Jahrbuch der kunsthistorischen Sammlungen in Wien, n.s., 14 (1953), p. 173.
Jakob Rosenberg. Rembrandt: Life & Work. rev. ed. London, 1964, p. 345 n. 1, states that Rembrandt "conceivably used the type of his father . . . two years after the old man's death".
Kurt Bauch. Rembrandt Gemälde. Berlin, 1966, p. 9, pl. 141.
Eckhard Schaar. Kataloghefte des Mittelrhein-Museums Koblenz. Vol. 1, Niederländische Meister. Koblenz, 1968, p. 19, under no. M98.
Horst Gerson. Rembrandt Paintings. Ed. Gary Schwartz. Amsterdam, 1968, pp. 256, 493, no. 103, ill. p. 257.
Bob Haak. Rembrandt: His Life, His Work, His Time. New York, , p. 80, fig. 115.
Paolo Lecaldano inL'opera pittorica completa di Rembrandt. Milan, 1969, p. 98, no. 82, ill.
Horst Gerson, ed. Rembrandt: The Complete Edition of the Paintings. By A[braham]. Bredius. 3rd ed. London, 1969, p. 561, no. 169, ill. p. 144.
Calvin Tomkins. Merchants and Masterpieces: The Story of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1970, pp. 172, 190 [rev., enl. ed., 1989].
Carter Ratcliff. "New York Letter." Art International 15 (April 20, 1971), ill. p. 31.
Everett Fahy inThe Wrightsman Collection. Vol. 5, Paintings, Drawings. [New York], 1973, p. 317, under no. 32.
Josua Bruyn in "Round-Table Discussion: Problems of Attribution." Rembrandt After Three Hundred Years. Chicago, 1973, p. 38.
J. Bolten and H. Bolten-Rempt. The Hidden Rembrandt. Milan, 1977, p. 178, no. 120, ill.
B[en]. P. J. Broos. Index to the Formal Sources of Rembrandt's Art. Maarssen, The Netherlands, 1977, p. 40.
Walter L. Strauss and Marjon van der Meulen. The Rembrandt Documents. New York, 1979, p. 83.
Sabine Jacob inJan Lievens: ein Maler im Schatten Rembrandts. Exh. cat., Herzog Anton Ulrich-Museum. Braunschweig, 1979, p. 98, under no. 31.
Howard Hibbard. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1980, p. 336, fig. 587 (color).
Anne Walter Lowenthal. Rembrandt. New York, 1981, pp. 8–9, colorpl. 1.
Maryan W. Ainsworth et al. Art and Autoradiography: Insights into the Genesis of Paintings by Rembrandt, Van Dyck, and Vermeer. New York, 1982, p. 41, pls. 23–26 (overall, x-ray radiograph, and autoradiographs).
J[osua]. Bruyn et al. A Corpus of Rembrandt Paintings. Vol. 1, 1625–1631. The Hague, 1982, pp. 223, 396, under nos. A20 and A42.
Werner Sumowski. Gemälde der Rembrandt-Schüler. Vol. 3, B. Keil–J. Ovens. Landau/Pfalz, 1983–[94?], p. 1795, under no. 1236.
Werner Sumowski. Gemälde der Rembrandt-Schüler. Vol. 5, Nachträge Ortsregister. Landau/Pfalz, 1983–[94?], p. 3099, under no. 2082a.
Gary Schwartz. Rembrandt, His Life, His Paintings. New York, 1985, p. 199, fig. 217 (color).
Christian Tümpel. Rembrandt: Mythos und Methode. Königstein, 1986, pp. 187, 406, no. 132, ill. p. 186 (color).
J[osua]. Bruyn et al. A Corpus of Rembrandt Paintings. Vol. 2, 1631–1634. The Hague, 1986, pp. 8, 26, 38, 97, 100, 144, 151–57, 330, 585, 587, 652, no. A48, ill. (overall, details, and x-ray), and under nos. A46, A70, B8, and C53.
Erik Hinterding and Femy Horsch. "Reconstruction of the Collection of Old Master Paintings of King Willem II." Simiolus 19, no.1–2 (1989), p. 86, no. 91.
Erik Hinterding and Femy Horsch. "'A small but choice collection': The Art Gallery of King Willem II of the Netherlands (1792–1849)." Simiolus 19, no.1–2 (1989), p. 32, fig. 30.
J[osua]. Bruyn et al. A Corpus of Rembrandt Paintings. Vol. 3, 1635–1642. The Hague, 1989, pp. 8, 644, under no. C101.
Walter Liedtke. "Dutch Paintings in America: The Collectors and Their Ideals." Great Dutch Paintings from America. Exh. cat., Mauritshuis, The Hague. Zwolle, The Netherlands, 1990, p. 40, erroneously as lent by Mrs. Lincoln Ellsworth to the Hudson-Fulton Celebration exhibition in 1909.
Peter C. Sutton. Northern European Paintings in the Philadelphia Museum of Art: From the Sixteenth through the Nineteenth Century. Philadelphia, 1990, p. 183 n. 9.
Edwin Buijsen in Ben Broos. "The Battle Against the Dollar: The Dutch Reaction to American Collecting in the Period from 1900 to 1914." Great Dutch Paintings from America. Exh. cat., Mauritshuis. The Hague, 1990, p. 60, fig. 1.
Pierre Cabanne. Rembrandt. [Paris], 1991, p. 146, no. 23, ill.
Claus Grimm. Rembrandt selbst: Ein Neubewertung seiner Porträtkunst. Stuttgart, 1991, p. 120, colorpl. 47 (detail), fig. 212.
Pieter van Thiel inRembrandt: The Master & His Workshop. Ed. Sally Salvesen. Exh. cat., Gemäldegalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin. Vol. 1, "Paintings."New Haven, 1991, pp. 148–49, no. 9, ill. (color).
Uwe Wieczorek. "Rembrandt: der Meister und seine Werkstatt." Museums Journal 5, no. 3 (1991), ill. p. 26.
Rollins Maxwell. Letter to Philippe de Montebello. October 18, 1991, excerpts Ref. Belmont 1927; notes that Mrs. Belmont [then Mrs. William K. Vanderbilt] purchased this and other paintings between 1882 and 1885, and that the Vanderbilts were divorced in 1895.
Leonard J. Slatkes. Rembrandt: Catalogo completo dei dipinti. Florence, 1992, pp. 342–43, no. 230, ill. (color).
Christopher White. "Amsterdam and London: Rembrandt." Burlington Magazine 134 (April 1992), p. 265.
Christopher Brown. "Amsterdam, Leiden, and The Hague: Lastman, Lievens, and Bredius." Burlington Magazine 134 (April 1992), p. 271.
Görel Cavalli-Björkman inRembrandt och hans Tid: Människan i Centrum. Exh. cat., Nationalmuseum. Stockholm, 1992, p. 190, fig. 54a, under no. 54.
Yoriko Kobayashi-Sato. "The Portrait and the 'Tronie' as Seen in the Art of Rembrandt." Faces of the Golden Age: Seventeenth Century Dutch Portrait. Exh. cat., Yamaguchi Prefectural Museum of Art. [The Hague], 1994, p. 23, fig. 7; English supplement, p. 13.
Walter Liedtke inRembrandt/Not Rembrandt in The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Aspects of Connoisseurship. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Vol. 2, "Paintings, Drawings, and Prints: Art-Historical Perspectives."New York, , pp. 40, 42–45, 47, 50, 55–56, 126, 132, no. 2, ill. (color).
Arthur K. Wheelock Jr. Dutch Paintings of the Seventeenth Century. Washington, 1995, p. 218, fig. 2.
Hubert von Sonnenburg. Rembrandt/Not Rembrandt in The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Aspects of Connoisseurship. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Vol. 1, "Paintings: Problems and Issues."New York, 1995, pp. 24, 38, 82–83, figs. 30 (color detail), 31 (x-radiograph detail), 106.
Walter Liedtke. "Rembrandt's 'Man in a Gorget and Plumed Cap' in the J. Paul Getty Museum." Burlington Magazine 137 (July 1995), p. 460.
B[en]. P. J. Broos inThe Dictionary of Art. Ed. Jane Turner. Vol. 26, New York, 1996, p. 156.
Helga Gutbrod. Lievens und Rembrandt: Studien zum Verhältnis ihrer Kunst. Frankfurt, 1996, pp. 284–88.
Paul Broekhoff and Michiel Franken. "Rembrandt/Not Rembrandt in The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Aspects of Connoisseurship." Simiolus 25, no. 1 (1997), p. 81.
Albert Blankert and Marleen Blokhuis inRembrandt: A Genius and His Impact. Exh. cat., National Gallery of Victoria. Melbourne, 1997, p. 106, under no. 7.
Ernst van de Wetering. Rembrandt: The Painter at Work. Amsterdam, 1997, pp. 97, 102, 124.
Simon Schama. Rembrandt's Eyes. New York, 1999, p. 333, ill. (color).
Emilie E. S. Gordenker. "The Rhetoric of Dress in Seventeenth-Century Dutch and Flemish Portraiture." Journal of the Walters Art Gallery 57 (1999), pp. 92, 102 n. 21, fig. 4.
Christopher Wright. Rembrandt. Paris, 2000, p. 248, fig. 244 (color).
Alan Chong. Rembrandt Creates Rembrandt: Art and Ambition in Leiden, 1629–1631. Exh. cat., Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Boston, 2000, pp. 80, 123.
Walter Liedtke et al. Vermeer and the Delft School. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2001, p. 230.
Jeroen Giltaij et al. Rembrandt Rembrandt. Exh. cat., Kyoto National Museum. Kyoto, 2002, p. 82, fig. 1, under no. 22 [German ed., Frankfurt, 2003, p. 104, fig. 20a (color), under no. 20].
Michael Zell. Reframing Rembrandt. Berkeley, 2002, p. 52.
Volker Manuth and Marieke de Winkel. Rembrandt's "Minerva in her Study" of 1635: The Splendor and Wisdom of a Goddess. New York, 2002, pp. 2, 17 n. 1, fig. 1.
Catherine B. Scallen. Rembrandt, Reputation, and the Practice of Connoisseurship. Amsterdam, 2004, p. 358 n. 17.
Everett Fahy inThe Wrightsman Pictures. Ed. Everett Fahy. New York, 2005, p. 132, under no. 37.
Eva de la Fuente Pedersen inRembrandt? The Master and His Workshop. Exh. cat., Statens Museum for Kunst. [Copenhagen], 2006, pp. 178–79, 266, 282–83, no. 5, ill. (color) and color detail on dust jacket.
Jaap van der Veen inUylenburgh & Son: Art and Commerce from Rembrandt to De Lairesse, 1625–1675. Exh. cat., Dulwich Picture Gallery, London. Zwolle, The Netherlands, 2006, p. 129, fig. 73 (color) and frontispiece (color), suggests that Marten Looten was the first owner of this picture, which dates from the same year as a portrait of Looten by Rembrandt (Los Angeles County Museum of Art).
Everhard Korthals Altes inRembrandt-Bilder: Die historische Sammlung der Kasseler Gemäldegalerie. Exh. cat., Staatliche Museen Kassel. Kassel, 2006, p. 30, fig. 5 (color).
Marieke de Winkel. Fashion and Fancy: Dress and Meaning in Rembrandt's Paintings. Amsterdam, 2006, p. 255, fig. 138.
Esmée Quodbach. "The Age of Rembrandt: Dutch Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 65 (Summer 2007), pp. 21, 27–29, 38, 70, figs. 28 (Hudson-Fulton gallery photograph), 45 (color).
Walter Liedtke. Dutch Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2007, vol. 1, pp. ix, 3, 9; vol. 2, pp. 554–67, 599, 713, 888, no. 142, colorpl. 142, fig. 124 (color detail).
Alejandro Vergara inRembrandt, pintor de historias. Ed. Alejandro Vergara. Exh. cat., Museo Nacional del Prado. Madrid, 2008, p. 29, fig. 5 (color).
Walter Liedtke. Vermeer: The Complete Paintings. Antwerp, 2008, p. 136.
Dagmar Hirschfelder. Tronie und Porträt in der niederländischen Malerei des 17. Jahrhunderts. Berlin, 2008, pp. 119–20, 136, 148, 187, 205, 255, 314, 421, no. 405, pl. 86.
Walter Liedtke. "Rembrandt Revelations at the Metropolitan Museum." Jahrbuch der Berliner Museen, Beiheft: Wissenschaft auf der Suche 51 (2009), p. 45.
Louisa Wood Ruby inRembrandt and His School: Masterworks from the Frick and Lugt Collections. Exh. cat., Frick Collection. New York, 2011, p. 34.
George S. Keyes inRembrandt in America: Collecting and Connoisseurship. Exh. cat., North Carolina Museum of Art. New York, 2011, pp. 67, 83 n. 20, fig. 31 (color).
Sander Paarlberg inWillem II: de konig en de kunst. Ed. Sander Paarlberg and Henk Slechte. Exh. cat., Dordrechts Museum. [Zwolle], 2014, pp. 244–46, no. 142, ill. (color, overall and detail on back cover).
Sander Paarlberg and Henk Slechte inWillem II: de konig en de kunst. Ed. Sander Paarlberg and Henk Slechte. Exh. cat., Dordrechts Museum. [Zwolle], 2014, pp. 21–22, fig. 8 (color).
Ellinoor Bergvelt inWillem II: de konig en de kunst. Ed. Sander Paarlberg and Henk Slechte. Exh. cat., Dordrechts Museum. [Zwolle], 2014, p. 108.
Boris Asvarisjtsj inWillem II: de konig en de kunst. Ed. Sander Paarlberg and Henk Slechte. Exh. cat., Dordrechts Museum. [Zwolle], 2014, pp. 113–14.
Kathryn Calley Galitz. The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Masterpiece Paintings. New York, 2016, p. 285, no. 224, ill. pp. 220, 285 (color).
In 1895, Bode states that this picture was in the Tomline collection at Orwell Park. In 1897, he catalogues it as in the Twombly collection, New York, and states that it was in the Wertheimer collection in 1886. However, Mrs. Vanderbilt states in her memoir (Belmont 1927) that she purchased the picture from Charles Wertheimer; this must have happened before 1895, as the Vanderbilts were divorced in that year.
There is a copy after the head in the Mittelrhein-Museum, Koblenz.
Claus Virch mentions seeing a half-length copy in the warehouse of Walter Chrysler, New York, which he describes as probably nineteenth-century English (see memo in archive file).
Artist: Rembrandt (Rembrandt van Rijn) (Dutch, Leiden 1606–1669 Amsterdam)Date: ca. 1650Medium: Pen and brown ink, brush and brown wash, on paper washed with brownAccession: 29.100.939On view in:Not on view