Study of an Old Man




The loose painting style, broad brushstrokes and dark tones of this painting bring to mind Rembrandt’s late work. But whether this is indeed a work by the great master remains unclear. The identity of the sitter, who was long thought to be Rembrandt’s older brother Adriaen, only adds to the confusion. Today, however, we believe this painting to be a ‘tronie’, a study of a characterful old man’s facial expression.

This painting is on temporary display to replace Rembrandt’s self-portrait from 1669 and his ‘Portrait of an Elderly Man’ from 1667. These works are currently on loan.

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  • Title: Study of an Old Man
  • Creator: Rijn, Rembrandt van
  • Date Created: 1650
  • Physical Dimensions: h80.5 cm x w66.5 cm
  • Provenance: Jean-Baptiste-Pierre Lebrun, Paris, 1809-1810; Este sale, Paris, 28 April 1819, lot 64 (unsold; as kindly communicated by B. Fredericksen); Sébastien Erard, Paris, until 1832; Sir William Wellesley Knighton, Blendworth Lodge, Hampshire, 1885; Lesser Gallery, London; Sir John Robinson, London, 1889; Agnew’s, London, 1890; Charles Sedelmeyer Gallery, Paris, 1890; purchased, 1891
  • Type: Painting
  • Medium: Oil on canvas