FineArtFriday: The Man With the Golden Helmet, Circle of Rembrandt

About this image, via Wikipedia:

The Man with the Golden Helmet (c. 1650) is an oil on canvas painting formerly attributed to the Dutch painter Rembrandt and today considered to be a work by someone in his circle.

Categorized as a work by Rembrandt for many years, doubts were expressed as to its provenance in 1984 by a Dutch curators’ commission specifically created to investigate Rembrandt works of questionable authenticity. They made their remarks whilst viewing the painting in West Berlin.

In November 1985, Berlin-based art expert Jan Kelch announced that important details in the painting’s style did not match the style of Rembrandt’s known works, and that the painting was probably painted in 1650 by one of Rembrandt’s students.

What I like about this painting:

This is a  wonderful portrait with a great mystery attached. It’s a classic example of a work by a student being good enough to be mistaken for the mentor’s work. Whichever of Rembrandt’s student did paint this man’s portrait, they were clearly on their way to great things in the art world. So far, the artist has not been identified, and most of Rembrandt’s students left large catalogs of work, all of which could be compared to it.

However, Rembrandt had many students, including his son, Titus.

Titus died very young but was known to be painting at the time this portrait is attributed to. He was nine, old enough to be apprenticed. Could this have been one of his lessons? Could the confusion have arisen because a father was teaching his young son the art of portrait painting? No works with his signature survive that I know of, although I admit I am not an art historian. Regardless, much is like Rembrandt, enough to confuse the issue.

Just a Rembrandt fangirl, fantasizing.

A partial list of Rembrandt’s students can be found here Rembrandt’s Students.

Credits and Attributions:

Wikimedia Commons contributors, “File:Mann mit dem Goldhelm.jpg,” Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository, May 10, 2019).

Wikipedia contributors, “The Man with the Golden Helmet,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, (accessed May 10, 2019).


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2 responses to “FineArtFriday: The Man With the Golden Helmet, Circle of Rembrandt

  1. When I look at Rembrandt’s works, I’m always blown away at how paint becomes life. Like, on one level I know that’s just oil paint, spread there carefully layer by layer… but then what I see is the gleam of gold in darkness, and the skin of a man shrouded in shadow beneath. Paint disappears, and life emerges. Yet when I look at the plumes, I see the paint too, and that’s most wondrous of all – they’re all there at the same time. The medium, and the magic that turns illusion into life. Like how wine turns into blood. Or how words become real on the page.

    That’s what has always offended me about the adage that fiction is a liar’s craft. It tries to ignore the fact that illusion itself becomes real in the most tangible way possible – in our minds.

    Uh, yeah, sorry ’bout that. 😀 Rembrandt gets me too.

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