Rembrandt (Rembrandt van Rijn) (Dutch, 16061669)
Oil on canvas; 36 x 29 1/4 in. (91.4 x 74.3 cm)
Bequest of Benjamin Altman, 1913 (14.40.621)
With its companion portrait, Woman with a Pink (14.40.622), this unsigned canvas has been universally regarded by scholars as a late work by Rembrandt, probably dating from the early 1660s. The same couple, looking at least a decade younger, are the subject of pendant portraits by Jan Victors dated 1651 (private collection). Unlike his former pupil, Rembrandt presents the sitters in imaginary attire that broadly recalls costumes painted by Titian. The object held by the man appears to be a "thread-counter," which was a lens used to examine the weave and quality of cloth. Such an attribute would identify the man's profession, which he evidently shared with the five main figures in Rembrandt's Syndics of the Amsterdam Drapers' Guild of 1662 (Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam).