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Self-Portrait, c. 1636-38

Rembrandt van Rijn
Dutch, 1606-1669
Oil on panel
24-7/8 x 19-7/8 in. (63.2 x 50.5 cm)
The Norton Simon Foundation
F.1969.18.P
© The Norton Simon Foundation

On view

Rembrandt was his own favorite model, and there is no moment in the artist's biography that he did not vividly represent. Rembrandt portrays himself here in the characteristic beret that had been associated with the artistic milieu since the sixteenth century. The chain around his neck was a symbol of prestige awarded to artists, often by a noble patron. The combination of elegant attire and an artist's attributes elevates Rembrandt to the status of a fine artist. This distinction was important at a time when artists were only beginning to realize their social standing among the creative elite.

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