An Old Man in Military Costume

Object Details


An Old Man in Military Costume


Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn (Dutch, 1606 - 1669)




about 1630 - 1631


Oil on panel


65.7 x 51.8 cm (25 7/8 x 20 3/8 in.)

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The subject, who appears in different guises in several other paintings by Rembrandt van Rijn and his contemporaries, wears a plumed hat and metal breastplate. His military costume may symbolize Dutch strength and patriotism during the struggle for independence from Spain. Although he faces front, the man's torso is turned in a three-quarter view; his watery eyes gazing off to the side give the image a sense of immediacy.

Rembrandt deftly captured the contrasting textures of materials: the downiness of the ostrich feather, the velvety softness of the cap, and the smooth coldness of the metal breastplate. The furrowed skin around the bridge of the man's nose, the moistness of his eyes, and the wispiness of his mustache and beard map out the physical process of aging.

- 1811

Gabriel Tahourdin [possibly unsold, Tahourdin sale, Christie's, London, June 22, 1811, lot 16.]

- 1824

Possibly Rev. Sir Henry Bate Dudley, first Bart., 1745 - 1824 (London, England; Wellington House, Cambridgeshire, England)

- 1877

Possibly William Whitting (Ashcroft, West Sussex, England) [sold, Whitting sale, Palmeira Square, Hove, East Sussex, England, May 1877, lot 149.]

before 1884 - before 1938

William B. Chamberlin (Hove, East Sussex, England), upon his death, held in trust by the estate.

by 1938

Estate of William B. Chamberlin (Hove, East Sussex, England) [sold, Chamberlin sale, Christie's, London, February 25, 1938, lot 44, through Alex Martin to Edward Mortimer Mountain.]

1938 - 1948

Sir Edward Mortimer Mountain, first Bart., 1872 - 1948 (Shawford Park, Hampshire, England), by inheritance to his son, Brian Edward Stanley Mountain, 1948.

1948 - 1969

Sir Brian Edward Stanley Mountain, second Bart., 1899 - 1977 (Shawford Park, Hampshire, England) [sold, Mountain sale, Christie's, London, December 5, 1969, lot 99, to Edward Speelman, Ltd.]

1969 -

Edward Speelman, Ltd. (London, England)

Harold Samuel, 1912 - 1987 (Wych Cross Place, Sussex, England), sold through intermediary to Eurica, Société d' Investissement.

- 1978

Eurica, Société d'Investissement (Lausanne, Switzerland), sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1978.

Exhibition of Works by the Old Masters and by Deceased Masters of the British School; Including a Special Selection from the Works of Paul Falconer Poole, R.A. (January 7 to March 15, 1884) (Cat. 128)
  • Royal Academy of Arts (London), January 7 to March 15, 1884
Exhibition of Dutch Art 1450 - 1900 (January 4 to March 9, 1929) (Cat. 171)
  • Royal Academy of Arts (London), January 4 to March 9, 1929
Masterpieces of Dutch and Flemish Paintings: Loan Exhibition in Memory of Ralph Warner (1949) (Cat. 24)
  • Eugene Slatter Gallery, (London), 1949
Dutch Pictures 1450 - 1750 (November 22, 1952 - March 1, 1953) (Cat. 39)
  • Royal Academy of Arts (London), November 22, 1952 to March 1, 1953
Rembrandt als Leermeester (June 1 to September 1, 1956) (Cat. 10)
  • Stedelijk Museum De Lakenhal, (Leiden), June 1 to September 1, 1956
European Pictures from an English County (Hampshire) (June 28 to July 27, 1957) (Cat. 17)
  • Thomas Agnew & Sons, Ltd., (London), June 28 to July 27, 1957
Rembrandt Creates Rembrandt: Ambition and Vision in Leiden 1629-1631 (September 22, 2000 to January 7, 2001) (Cat. 17)
  • Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, (Boston), September 22, 2000 to January 7, 2001

Moes, Ernst Wilhelm. Iconographia Batava: Beredeneerde lijst van geschilderde en gebeeldhouwde portretten van Noord-Nederlanders in vorige eeuwen. 2 vols. (Amsterdam: Frederick Muller & Co., 1897-1905), vol. 2 (1905), p. 309, no. 6687.7.

Groot, Cornelis Hofstede de. A Catalogue Raisonné of the Works of the Most Eminent Dutch Painters of the Seventeenth Century, based on the Work of John Smith. Edward G. Hawke, ed. and trans. 8 vols. (London: Macmillan and Co., 1908-1927), vol. 6 (1916), p. 321, no. 673.

Fredericksen, Burton B., et al. The J. Paul Getty Museum Guidebook. 5th ed. (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1980), pp. 50, 53, ill.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 1st ed. (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1986), p. 96, ill.

Sutton, Peter C. A Guide to Dutch Art in America (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1986), pp. 145-46.

Reinewald, Chris. "Musea en Galeries in Amerika. Het Getty Museum: Een Romeinse villa aan de Pacific Coast." Tableau 9, no. 4 (February 1987), pp. 65, 67.

Fredericksen, Burton B. Masterpieces of Painting in the J. Paul Getty Museum. Rev. ed. (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1988), unpaginated, no. 22, ill.

Koch-Hillebrecht, Manfred. Museen in den USA: Gemälde (Munich: Hirmer Verlag, 1992), p. 278.

Jaffé, David. Summary Catalogue of European Paintings in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997), p. 103, ill.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 6th ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2001), p. 120, ill.

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