Wtenbogaert (1557- 644) was a famous preacher, the founder and leader of the Remonstrant Brotherhood. At the request of one of his followers, he had his portrait painted by Rembrandt when he was 76 years of age. At this time Rembrandt was beginning to make a name for himself in Amsterdam as a portrait painter. This large work is one of the best portraits from that period. The large black cloak lends an imposing gravity to the figure of the old man, automatically leading the eye of the viewer to the white collar and the face. The hands appear to have been done by an assistant, but the face is Rembrandt at his best: with the raised eyebrows the artist has given the old man an individual characterization.
Commissioned by Abraham Anthonisz Recht (1588 - 1664). From the collection of Manfrini (Venice), Baron Meyer de Rothschild (Mentmore) and Earl of Rosebery. Purchased in 1992, with the support of the Vereniging Rembrandt, the Prins Bernhard Fonds, the VSBfonds, the Rijksmuseum Fonds, the State, and a large number of individuals and companies.