Numerous paintings and drawings show that Rembrandt was more interested in himself as a subject, from the earliest times and well into old age, than any other artist of his period. This portrait with a velvet beret is a manifestation of his self-confidence: he had married Saskia Uylenburgh in 1634, and thus above his station. It also shows that he was familiar with the famous Rubens self-portrait (Windsor Castle). But unlike Rubens, Rembrandt does not present himself as an honourable gentleman, but as an established painter, who is basing his self-representation on art, rather then social status. The beret is also one of the painter’s typical attributes, and the alert turn of the head towards the viewer and the thoughtful look out of the picture had been standard to the portraiture of artists since the Renaissance.