Despite some doubts in the past, recent scholarly opinion has favoured the attribution of this sensitive and subtly lit portrait to Rembrandt. It has the characteristic broad handling of the artist's late style and it was certainly highly esteemed by a visitor to the Gallery in 1824 who commented,
"Nothing can be richer than the colouring, more forcible and masterly than the handling, and more consistent and individualised than the character of the face. It is one of those portraits of which it is common to say - 'that must be a likeness'."
Although the sitter has traditionally been identified as Rembrandt’s only son Titus, the presence of the books that can just be discerned in the background indicate this is a portrait of a scholar.


  • Title: A Young man, perhaps the Artist's Son Titus
  • Date: 1663
  • Physical Dimensions: w642 x h786 cm
  • Type: Painting
  • Medium: Oil
  • null: Murray suggests this picture's provenance includes ?C. A. de Calonne; ?his sale, London, Skinner and Dyke, 25 Mar. 1795, lot 78. This may be correct but Murray does not indicate why he makes this connection. [Need to look at original sale description (not in GPI database).]However it seems more likely that the painting is the the ÔThe Portrait of Philip Wouvermans, finely coloured, and painted with great effect' bt by Bourgois in 1807 as the earliest gallery records call the sitter of DPG221 as Wouwerman.
  • Work Nationality: Dutch
  • Support: Canvas
  • Provenance: ?William Harris; his sale, London, Christie's, 7 Feb. 1807, lot 18 ('The Portrait of Philip Wouvermans, finely coloured, and painted with great effect'). Bt Bourgeois for £52.10; London, Sir Francis Bourgeois, 1807-1811; Bourgeois Bequest, 1811.
  • Inscriptions: Re[...]f[...]
  • Further Information: Fragments of a signature and date were found during cleaning in 1949-53, but these traces do not seem original. The traditional attribution to Rembrandt was rejected by Richter in 1880, but reinstated by Valentiner and has now been widely, though not universally, accepted. Doubts have recently been expressed by Tümpel. The identification of the sitter as Rembrandt's son, Titus (proposed by Valentiner in 1909) is not generally accepted.
  • Attributed to: Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn
  • Acquisition Method: Bourgeois, Sir Peter Francis (Bequest, 1811)

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