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Rembrandt van Rijn

Dutch, 1606–1669

"Tronie" of a Man with a Feathered Beret,
ca. 1635–1640
Oil on panel
Acquired by Prince William V, 1768
(inv. no. 149)

The tronie ("face") constitutes a separate category of portraiture. These bust-length compositions were not intended to be likenesses of a specific person, but rather studies or characterizations of certain facial expressions or figure types. Sometimes artists even used their own faces for inspiration, as Rembrandt often did.

THINGS TO SEARCH FOR

  • The gorget: the decorative piece of armor worn around the man's neck
  • The beret: flamboyant and made of ostrich feathers
  • The earring: he wears an elegant gold earring