Amazing 17th Century Portrait Painting Attributed to School of Rembrandt

Magnificent Oil Painting attributed to the School of Rembrandt | Titled: Old man with beard and beret | Media: Oil on canvas (relined) | Measures: 26 in. x 22 in.

Additional information
  • Exceptional Oil Painting attributed to the School of Rembrandt | Titled: Old man with beard and beret | Frame is modern, not original | Media: Oil on canvas (relined) | The painting is signed in the right lower corner in red paint, although signature is not very clear. The signature is about 9 cm long and contains 7-10 letters | Research in ultraviolet light: The area (14cm x 7cm) in the center and above of the beret was repaired with over paint, probably during the time of relining. The area with signature also has traces of over paint. Size of the stretcher: 24 in. x 20 in. = 61 cm x 51cm; Size of the wooden frame: 26 in. x 22 in. = 65 cm x 55 cm; Frame is modern, not original; Media: Oil on canvas; Research in ultraviolet light: The area (14 cm x 7cm) in the center and above of the beret was repaired with over paint, probably during the time of relining. The area with signature also has traces of over paint (9 x 3 cm) | Condition: In general, the condition of the painting is very good. The canvas was relined, presumably 40-100 years ago, probably when painting had some restoration completed. There is a paint loss 7 x 5 mm above the left shoulder and another smaller (2-3 mm) spot of paint loss. Fortunately, the face is spared and intact.

    About Rembrandt:  Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (15 July 1606 – 4 October 1669) was a Dutch painter and etcher. He is generally considered one of the greatest painters and printmakers in European art and the most important in Dutch history. His contributions to art came in a period of great wealth and cultural achievement that historians call the Dutch Golden Age when Dutch Golden Age painting, although in many ways antithetical to the Baroque style that dominated Europe, was extremely prolific and innovative, and gave rise to important new genres in painting.

    Having achieved youthful success as a portrait painter, Rembrandt’s later years were marked by personal tragedy and financial hardships. Yet his etchings and paintings were popular throughout his lifetime, his reputation as an artist remained high, and for twenty years he taught many important Dutch painters. Rembrandt’s greatest creative triumphs are exemplified most notably in his portraits of his contemporaries, self-portraits and illustrations of scenes from the Bible. His self-portraits form a unique and intimate biography, in which the artist surveyed himself without vanity and with the utmost sincerity.

    In his paintings and prints he exhibited knowledge of classical iconography, which he molded to fit the requirements of his own experience; thus, the depiction of a biblical scene was informed by Rembrandt’s knowledge of the specific text, his assimilation of classical composition, and his observations of Amsterdam’s Jewish population. Because of his empathy for the human condition, he has been called “one of the great prophets of civilization.

    School of Rembrandt Attribution:  The attribution and/or re-attribution work related to Rembrandt’s work is and has been an ongoing practice in the world of fine art.  For example, in 2005 four oil paintings previously attributed to Rembrandt’s students were reclassified as the work of Rembrandt himself: Study of an Old Man in Profile and Study of an Old Man with a Beard from a US private collection, Study of a Weeping Woman, owned by the Detroit Institute of Arts, and Portrait of an Elderly Woman in a White Bonnet, painted in 1640.  In addition, another newly discovered Rembrandt portrait was uncovered in England known as The Old Rabbi.  

    rembrandt woburn
    Rembrandt van Rijn, “The Old Rabbi” Woburn Abbey, Woburn, Bedfordshire, England

    Rembrandt’s own studio practice is a major factor in the difficulty of attribution, since, like many masters before him, he encouraged his students to copy his paintings, sometimes finishing or retouching them to be sold as originals, and sometimes selling them as authorized copies. Additionally, his style proved easy enough for his most talented students to emulate. Further complicating matters is the uneven quality of some of Rembrandt’s own work, and his frequent stylistic evolutions and experiments. As well, there were later imitations of his work, and restorations which so seriously damaged the original works that they are no longer recognizable. It is highly likely that there will never be universal agreement as to what does and what does not constitute a genuine Rembrandt or a painting from the School of Rembrandt.

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  • Artist / Maker



    17th Century








    Relined Canvas


    Old man with beard and beret