Bust of a Man Wearing a Gorget and Plumed Beret

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Man in a gorget and a plumed cap
Rembrandt van Rijn, A man in a gorget and cap, 1626–1627.jpg
Mediumoak panel
Dimensions40 cm (16 in) × 29.4 cm (11.6 in)
IdentifiersRKDimages ID: 36154

Bust of a Man Wearing a Gorget and Plumed Beret is a 1626/7 oil on panel painting by Rembrandt. It measures 39.8 by 29.4 centimetres (15.7 in × 11.6 in) and is held in a private collection. It is believed to be the earliest extant single figure painting by Rembrandt.

The work is dated to around 1626/27, when Rembrandt was in his early twenties working in Leiden. X-ray analysis shows that it was painted over an earlier work depicting the head of an old man.

The identity of the subject is not known, but it is believed to be a character study or "tronie" of a historical character, wearing costume - gorget and cap with feather plume - fashionable in the 15th century, possibly inspired by a woodcut print of a lansquenet.

The subject is depicted in a pose typical of Rembrandt's work, with the subject looking over the left shoulder. It uses an exaggerated fall of light, creating bright highlights and deep shadows, perhaps inspired by Caravaggio.

The early history of the painting is not known with much certainty. It may have been held by Leo Nardus. It was acquired by Heinrich Baron Thyssen-Bornemisza around 1929, and displayed at Schloss Rohoncz [de] at Rechnitz and later at Villa Favorita [it; de] in Lugano. It was sold by his daughter Margit von Batthyány [de; nl; ja] before 1954, and then auctioned at Christie's in London in 1974 and acquired by Herman Shickman and Lila Shickman. It was acquired by Pieter Dreesmann (son of Anton Dreesmann [nl] of the Dutch department store chain V&D) and Olga Dreesmann in 2002, and sold from their collection at Christie's in London in 2012, for £8,441,250.[1]

A copy of the painting was sold at Christie's in 1952.


  1. ^ Rembrandt, A man in a gorget and cap, Christie's, 3 July 2012