A man twists his head to the right and looks at us over his shoulder. He is strikingly dressed in a feathered beret and a cloak with gold embroidery. The light is falling brightly on his face and casting a beautiful sheen on his metal gorget.
The painting is not a portrait, but a ‘tronie’, or character sketch. In this case, it is of a soldier, who is dressed in an old-fashioned style. Rembrandt did not sign the painting RHL (Rembrandt Harmenszoon Leydensis), as he had done for a long time before that, but with his first name alone.