Despite the popularity of the 'Man with the Golden Helmet‘, which was attributed to Rembrandt, there has been an increasing body of evidence casting doubt on its authorship since the 1960s. The picture was restored in the 1980s, and subjected to a thorough technical examination, which supported the reservations that had been expressed in terms of style. The helmet with ist thickly applied paint and sharply reflected light particularly show how Rembrandt’s expressive devices have been exaggerated. The dark, almost graphic presentation of the face is also not compatible with Rembrandt’s signature style. The technical and stylistic differences are revealed very clearly in a comparison with Rembrandt’s painting 'Man in Armour‘ in Glasgow. In terms of content 'The Man with the Golden Helmet‘ could be interpreted as representing Mars, the god of war, as a magnificent shining helmet had long been seen as his attribute. This theme was often taken up by painter’s in Rembrandt’s circle. The self-absorbed expression on the subject’s face has also been linked with the motif of the sleeping Mars, symbolizing silent weapons, and thus peace.


  • Title: The Man with the Golden Helmet
  • Creator: Rembrandt (circle)
  • Date Created: around 1650
  • Physical Dimensions: w50.7 x h67.5 cm
  • Type: Painting
  • External Link: Gemäldegalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
  • Medium: Oil on canvas
  • Style: Netherlandish
  • Copyright Text: Text: © http://www.prestel.com, Prestel Verlag / Claudia Banz Audio: © Tonwelt / Staatliche Museen zu Berlin – Preußischer Kulturbesitz // Photo: © http://www.bpk-images.de, b p k - Photo Agency / Kaiser Friedrich-Museums-Verein / Jörg P. Anders
  • Collection: Kaiser Friedrich-Museums-Verein
  • Artist Place of Death: Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Artist Place of Birth: Leiden, Netherlands
  • Artist Gender: male

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