black and white image; portrait of a man wearing a floppy hat; shading along bottom of image; curved sheet of paper in CL

Young Man in a Velvet Cap, 1637

Not on Viewexpand_more

Portraiture was one of Rembrandt areas of deep engagement. The phenominal delicacy of his touch and his spontaneous mark making impart peerless animation to his etched portraits. One truly senses a connection to his sitters. Sometimes those sitters were extremely prominent figures, but the identity of others has been lost ot time--as was the case with the young man in a velvet cap.

In 1974, however, a Dutch scholar investigated an inscription written on the back of a fine example in 17th-century script: Petrus Sylvius. Petrus was the son of Jan Cornelis Sylvius, the guardian of Rembrandt's wife Saskia. In 1637, Petrus was 27 years old and was about to move to Sloten (Friesland) as the newly appointed minister of a congregation there. The velvet cap, fur collar, silk scarf, and open book speak to his profession and new status. Though, we have no solid proof, the circumstances allow us to suppose that Petrus Sylvius (1610–1653) may well be this sitter for this little gem of a portrait.

Details
Title
Young Man in a Velvet Cap
Artist Life
1606–1669
Role
Artist
Accession Number
2021.102
Catalogue Raisonne
Bartsch 268 Hind 151 Hollstein 268 ii/ii New Hollstein 164 ii/ii
Curator Approved

This record has been reviewed by our curatorial staff but may be incomplete. These records are frequently revised and enhanced. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@artsmia.org.

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black and white image; portrait of a man wearing a floppy hat; shading along bottom of image; curved sheet of paper in CL