REMBRANDT VAN RIJN Self Portrait in a Cap and Scarf with the Face Dark: Bust.
Etching, 1633. 135x105 mm; 5 3/8x4 inches, narrow margins. Biörklund's third state (of 3); Usticke's third state (e) (of 5), with the delicate Watelet rework and no wear in the darkly shaded areas; White and Boon's second state (of 2). A superb, dark, richly-inked impression with little to no sign of wear, with all the details distinct and with very strong contrasts.
Rembrandt etched some 30 self-portraits, with 27 singular images of himself and several others of himself in different guises or grouped with other portrait studies. This self-portrait, at the age of 27, created two years after he had moved to Amsterdam from Leyden to establish himself as a successful (and independent) artist, and months before he married Saskia van Uylenburgh, is among Rembrandt's most introspective self renderings. The dark shading covering much of his face (which rapidly disappears in later impressions), the deep-set eyes and his quiet, hunched pose give him an almost shy, reserved appearance, which is markedly different from the proud, bright, frontal poses of his self-portraits from the mid- to late-1630s. Bartsch 17; Biörklund 33-G; Hollstein (White and Boon) 17.