Rembrandt van Rijn was a painter, draftsman and etcher, and is considered to be the greatest of 17th-century Dutch artists. He was a master at manipulating the expressive potential of light and shadow, and his numerous portraits show a profound observation of character. Here, Rembrandt focuses our attention on this unidentified sitter's face by framing his head with a warm semicircle of light and crisp white collar. His gaze is directed at us with the confidence characteristic of his youth. The sitter's informal beret perhaps indicates that he is a student, a recent graduate or even an aspiring artist. Rembrandt has used the butt end of his brush to make incisions in the still-wet paint of the hair to provide a richer sense of texture.