Dulwich Picture Gallery II


Rembrandt DPG221

DPG221 – Portrait of a Young Man, perhaps the Artist’s Son Titus

Said to have been signed and dated: R … f … 631
c. 1668; canvas, 82.6 x 67.2 cm, including added strips of 2.1 cm at the top, 2 cm at the bottom, 1.5 cm on the left and 2 cm on the right (the original canvas measures 78.6 x 64.2 cm)

?Charles Alexander de Calonne sale, Skinner and Dyke, London, 27 March 1795 (Lugt 5289), lot 78 (£110.5.0);2 ?European Museum, London, 1795 (date unknown), lot 293 (‘A curious and valuable portrait of Philip Wouvermans, the undoubted work of Rembrandt’);3 European Museum, London, 16 Nov. 1801, lot 512 (‘Rembrandt – A portrait of Philip Wouvermans’); European Museum, London, 7 March ff. 1803, lot 512 (the same); European Museum, London, 13 June ff. 1803, lot 512 (the same); William Harris sale, Christie’s, 7 Feb. 1807 (Lugt 7182), lot 18 (‘Rembrandt – The Portrait of Philip Wouvermans, finely coloured, and painted with great effect'), bt Bourgeois for £52.10;4 Bourgeois Bequest, 1811; Britton 1813, p. 30, no. 313 (‘Unhung / no. 44, Portrait – Head of Wouvermans C[anvas] Rembrandt’; 3'7" x 3'2").

Cat. 1817, p. 11, no. 180 (‘CENTRE ROOM – South Side; Portrait of Wouvermans; Rembrandt’); Haydon 1817, p. 388, no. 180;5 Cat. 1820, p. 11, no. 180 (Portrait of Wouvermans; Rembrandt); Buchanan 1824, i, p. 240, no. 78 (Calonne collection; see Provenance); Patmore 1824b, pp. 50–52, no. 179;6 Cat. 1830, p. 13, no. 282; Jameson 1842, ii, p. 489, no. 282 (Wouvermans);7 not Smith 1829–42, vii (1836), p. 148, no. 443 (print by J. F. Schröter, 1790; Related works, no. 3b);8 Bentley’s 1851, p. 349;9 Denning 1858, no. 282 (Wouwermans); not in Denning 1859; Lejeune, ii, 1864, p. 437 (mentions in Dulwich only the Portrait of Wouwermans); Sparkes 1876, p. 136, no. 282; Richter & Sparkes 1880, p. 127, no. 282 (painted by an inferior scholar or imitator of Rembrandt); Richter & Sparkes 1892 and 1905, p. 60, no. 221; Hofstede de Groot 1912, p. 175, note 1 (Rembrandt); HdG, vi, 1915, pp. 297–8, no. 705 (Titus, 1652–4;10 Engl. edn 1916, p. 334); Cook 1914, pp. 137–8; Valentiner 1921, p. xxiii and fig. 86 (Titus, c. 1658); Martin 1921–2, p. 34 (questions attribution); Cook 1926, pp. 137–8, no. 221; Bredius 1935, no. 289; A Young Man); Van Gelder 1953b, p. 33, no. 179 (maybe Titus van Rijn; 1663); Cat. 1953, p. 33 (Titus); Paintings 1954, pp. 2, [60]; Bauch 1966, p. 22, no. 434 (Titus, c. 1661–2); Gerson 1968, pp. 154 (fig.), 446, 504 (Rembrandt; ?Titus); Bredius & Gerson 1969, p. 572, no. 289 (?Titus); Murray 1980a, p. 101 and fig. II;11 Murray 1980b, p. 22 and fig. II; Schwartz 1985, p. 339, no. 396 (fig.; not Titus); Guillaud 1986, pp. 363, 365 (fig.); Tümpel 1986, pp. 334 (fig.), 430, no. A 97 (shares Martin’s doubts); Slatkes 1992, p. 274, no. 176 (c. 1666?); Beresford 1998, p. 193, no. 221 (attributed to Rembrandt); Giltaij 2003, p. 164 (fig.), under no. 31; pp. 232–5, 249, no. 47 (Rembrandt, c. 1667–8); not in Van de Wetering 2015; Jonker & Bergvelt 2016, pp. 168–70, 172; Giltaij 2018, pp. 86–8, 124–6, no. 14 (Rembrandt; Titus; c. 1668); RKD, no. 280260: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/280260 (May 27, 2018).

London 1952–3, p. 41, no. 179; Amsterdam/Rotterdam 1956, pp. 190–91 (fig.), no. 93; London/Washington/Los Angeles 1985–6, pp. 102–3, no. 27 (C. White); Tokyo/Shizuoka/Osaka/Yokohama 1986–7, pp. 116–7 (in Japanese; C. White); London 1989;12 Warsaw 1992, pp. 104–5, no. 20 (C. White); Madrid/Bilbao 1999, pp. 128–9, no. 29 (I. Dejardin); Houston/Louisville 1999–2000, pp. 158–9, no. 50 (D. Shawe-Taylor); Kyoto 2002–3, pp. 184–6, no. 52 (in Japanese; J. Giltaij); Frankfurt 2003, pp. 232–5, 249, no. 47 (J. Giltaij); Budapest 2014–15, pp. 176–7, no. 105 (J. Giltaij); Leeuwarden/Kassel 2018–19, p. 67 (fig. 65), 70, no cat. nos.

Plain-weave linen canvas. The ground is white with mid-grey priming. The paint is thickly applied with vigorous brushwork. Double glue-paste lined onto similar; the original tacking margins are not present. There is a pine board between the canvas and stretcher. A seal of Sir Francis Bourgeois (in poor condition) has been transferred to the verso board, and there are various paper labels. The paint surface has suffered during previous restorations. The surface is uneven and the paint has been pressed during lining. Overcleaning has exposed the ground in some parts and there is extensive restoration. An X-ray [1] reveals that the sitter’s left arm and right hand were painted in but subsequently removed. He was holding an unidentified object in his left hand. Previous recorded treatment: 1866, ‘revived’, revarnished, frame regilded; 1911, relined, Holder; 1936, frame and stretcher paraffined; 1949–53, Dr Hell via RA; 1980, surface cleaned, retouched, varnished, National Maritime Museum.

Other portraits said to be of Titus
1a) (attributed to) Rembrandt, Portrait of a Boy, c. 1655–60, canvas, 64.8 x 55.9 cm. The Norton Simon Foundation, Pasadena, Calif., F.1965.2.P.13
1b) Rembrandt, Titus at his Desk, signed and dated Rembrandt f. 1655, canvas, 77 x 63 cm. BvB, Rotterdam, St.2.14
1c) Follower of Rembrandt, Boy in a Fanciful Costume (formerly Rembrandt’s Son, Titus), falsely signed Rembrandt. f. 1655, end of the 17th century or 1655–60, canvas, 79.1 x 59.1 cm. MMA, New York, Bequest of Benjamin Altman, 1913, 14.40.608.15
1d) Rembrandt, Portrait of Titus reading, c. 1656–8, canvas, 71.5 x 64.5 cm. KHM, Vienna, GG 410.16
1e) Rembrandt, Titus, the Artist’s Son, c. 1657, canvas, 68.5 x 57.3 cm. Wallace Collection, London, P29 [2].17
1f) Rembrandt, Titus van Rijn in a Monk’s Habit, signed and dated Rembrandt f. 1660, canvas, 79.5 x 67.7 cm. RM, Amsterdam, SK–A–3138.18
1g) Rembrandt, Portrait of a Young Man resting his Chin on his Hand (Titus, the Artist’s Son), signed and dated Rembrandt f. 1660, canvas, 81.5 x 68.7 cm. The Baltimore Museum of Art, The Mary Frick Jacobs Collection, 1938.206.19
1h) Rembrandt, Titus, c. 1662, canvas, 72 x 56 cm. Louvre, Paris, R.F. 1948–34.20
1i) Follower of Rembrandt, Portrait of a Young Man with a Beret (formerly called Titus), 17th century, canvas, 75.9 x 62.9 cm, MMA, New York, gift of Charles D. Payson, 1975.373.21
2a) Rembrandt, The Artist’s Son Titus, nearly half-length to front, wearing a beret, c. 1656, etching, 95 (trimmed) x 70 mm. BM, London, F,4.12.22
2b) (with books) Rembrandt, Young Man in a Velvet Cap (Petrus Sylvius?), signed and dated Rembrandt / f. 1637, etching and drypoint, 95 x 82 mm (trimmed). BM, London, F,6.18 [3].23
Confusion in provenance
3a) (Style of) Rembrandt, Rembrandt as a Young Man, monogrammed RL, c. 1630–35, panel, 21.9 x 16.5 cm. MMA, New York, 53.18.24
3b) (print after 3a, in reverse) Johann Friedrich Schröter, Rembrandt’s Self-Portrait, 1790, engraving. Albertina, Vienna.25
Other late Rembrandts
4a) Rembrandt, Portrait of a white-haired man, signed and dated Rembrandt f. / 1667, canvas, 108.9 x 92.7 cm. National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, 2372–4.26
4b) Rembrandt, Portrait of a Couple as Isaac and Rebecca (‘The Jewish Bride’), signed and dated Rembrandt f. 16…, c. 1665–8, canvas, 121.5 x 166.5 cm. Van der Hoop Collection, City of Amsterdam, on loan to RM, Amsterdam, SK–C–216.27
Interior of Dulwich Picture Gallery
5) Joseph Dakin (active 1859-1914), Interior of Dulwich Picture Gallery, 1894, watercolour on paper, 60 x 45 cm. DPG, G13 [4].28

Lent to the RA to be copied in 1830, 1838 and 1843.

This is a typical example of Rembrandt’s late style: see for instance Portrait of a white-haired man in Melbourne (Related works, no. 4a).29 The head is still in excellent condition, but the coat, which was probably thickly painted (like the clothing of the Jewish Bride in the Rijksmuseum; Related works, no. 4b), is so abraded that doubts have arisen about the picture’s authorship. However the X-ray [1] reveals that the sitter’s left arm and right hand were painted in but subsequently removed. He was holding an unidentified object in his left hand. These changes could point to Rembrandt’s authorship, as copyists are not in the habit of changing the composition they are supposed to copy.

This near half-length portrait of a young man in his twenties was bought by Bourgeois a few months before the death of Desenfans in 1807. The sitter was since 1795 thought to be the painter Philips Wouwerman (1619–68), but the style indicates a date in the 1660s, by which time Wouwerman would have been in his forties. Valentiner identified the subject as the artist’s son Titus (1641–68), but dated the picture 1658, when Titus would have been only seventeen, while DPG221 depicts an older man (in his twenties?). During cleaning in 1949–53 fragments of a signature and date, ‘…63’, were found, but have long since disappeared; Giltaij and others believe in a date around 1668, just before Titus died. This is the only portrait of Titus, if it is him, with a moustache (Related works no. 1i, by a follower of Rembrandt, is not now considered to be a portrait of Titus).30 Rembrandt used members of his family and household as models for his work, and we can see Titus growing older in a series of studies by Rembrandt or his circle (Related works, nos 1a–1i) [2] and also in a print (Related works, no. 2a). Here, as White also noted in 1985, there are books to the left and behind the young man. That would suggest that he was a student or a scholar. According to Giltaij (2018) Titus was characterized as a painter in 1670. In the Rembrandt inventory of 1656 already three pictures by Titus are mentioned; he was then fifteen years old.31 He was an art dealer with Hendrickje Stoffels, and not specially known for his love of books. (For a print by Rembrandt depicting a scholar, perhaps Petrus Sylvius, see Related works, no. 2b [3]).

As well as the subject, the attribution of the picture has been questioned. Richter rejected the attribution to Rembrandt; Valentiner reaffirmed it; Martin placed a question mark against it. Most 20th-century writers have supported Rembrandt’s authorship, but Tümpel again expressed doubts. Giltaij however believes firmly in both the identification and the attribution. The picture is not included in the 6th volume of the Corpus of Rembrandt paintings. It seems that none of these authors had seen the X-ray with the changes in the composition, so they so they could not take it into account in their reasoning.

In the early 19th century the picture was lent three times to the Royal Academy to be copied.

Rembrandt or circle of Rembrandt
Portrait of a young man, c. 1668
canvas, oil paint 82,6 x 67,2 cm
Dulwich (London), Dulwich Picture Gallery, inv./cat.nr. DPG221


X-ray of DPG221

Portrait of Titus, c. 1657
canvas, oil paint 68,5 x 57,3 cm
London, Wallace Collection, inv./cat.nr. P29

Young Man in a Velvet Cap (Petrus Sylvius?), dated 1637
paper, etching, drypoint 95 x 82 (trimmed mm
upper left : Rembrandt / f. 1637
London (England), British Museum, inv./cat.nr. F,6.18

Joseph Dakin
Interior of Dulwich Picture Gallery in 1894, dated 1894
paper, watercolor 60 x 45 cm
Dulwich (London), Dulwich Picture Gallery


1 No longer visible. Giltaij 2003, p. 232.

2 Buchanan 1824, i, p. 240 (in the Calonne collection): ‘Rembrandt. – Very capital Portrait of a young Gentleman – a half length. Rembrandt has united all the powers of his art to attract our admiration in this pleasing character, which is undoubtedly one of the finest pictures he ever painted; 105 [gs].’

3 GPID (17 Dec. 2013), and the following European Museum entries.

4 GPID (17 Dec. 2013).

5 ‘Rembrandt Van Rhyn. Portrait of Wouwerman.’

6 ‘This is a portrait of Wouvermans, painted by a man of even superior genius, who was qualified (which very few are) to see all that a face contains, and (which is the lot of still fewer) to depict what he saw. This renders the authenticity of his portraits unquestionable, and consequently the satisfaction arising from them complete. With respect to the example before us, nothing can be richer than the colouring, more forcible and masterly than the handling, and more consistent and individualized than the character of the face. It is one of those portraits of which it is common for casual observers to say – “that must be a likeness.” […] But I am departing, I fear too widely, from the objects before us. I repeat, this fine portrait of Wouvermans, by Rembrandt, is one of the most interesting works of its class.’

7 ‘Rembrandt. A Portrait. Head only; said to be that of Philip Wouvermans, the painter.’

8 This suggestion was made in Murray 1980a, albeit with a question mark, and later taken over by for instance White 1985. However the print described by Smith was made after a different picture (see Related works, nos 3a, 3b): ‘A young Man, represented in nearly a front view, having scanty mustacheos and bushy hair, wearing a black velvet cap, a fur cloak, and a white shirt, only a small portion of which is seen. Engraved by J. F. Schroter [= Schröter], 1790, and described from the print.’

9 ‘Rembrandt’s fine portrait of his brother painter, Wouvermans’.

10 Die Zuschreibung rührt von W. R. Valentiner her (the attribution comes from W. R. Valentiner), probably orally.

11 See note 8.

12 14 DPG pictures were lent to the NG Board Room from 7 July to 3 Sept. 1989. There was no catalogue.

13 RKD, no. 205370: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/205370 (May 7, 2019); see also https://www.nortonsimon.org/art/viewer/F.1965.2.P (June 26, 2020). Previously thought to be Titus. According to Jeroen Giltaij this picture is by Rembrandt, but this boy is certainly not Titus (Titus was born in 1641): email to Ellinoor Bergvelt, 17 Oct. 2014 (DPG221 file), for which many thanks; Giltaij 2018, pp. 60–63 (fig. on p. 62), 100–101, no. 2 (Portrait of a boy in phantasy costume).

14 RKD, no. 2953: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/2953 (May 7, 2019); Giltaij 2003, pp. 162–4, no. 31; Giltaij 2018, pp. 63–5 (fig. on p. 64), 102–3, no. 3.

15 RKD, no. 233245: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/233245 (May 7, 2019); Giltaij 2018, pp. 63, 65, fig. on p. 66, 104–5, no. 4 (Follower of Rembrandt, c. 1655–60; Portrait of a boy) Liedtke 2007, pp. 778–81, no. 177; Liedtke 1995, pp. 136–7, no. 41 (Follower of Rembrandt); Sonnenburg 1995, pp. 132–3, no. 41.

16 RKD, no. 233624: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/233624 (May 7, 2019); Giltaij 2018, pp. 69, 70 (fig. on p. 68), 108–9, no. 6; Rønberg & De la Fuente Pedersen 2006, pp. 196–7, no. 14.

17 RKD, no. 232768: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/232768 (May 7, 2019); see also https://www.wallacecollection.org/collection/titus-artists-son/ (June 21, 2020); Giltaij 2018, pp. 70 (fig. on p. 71), 72, 110–11, no. 7; Ingamells 1992, pp. 280–83, P29.

18 RKD, no. 2954: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/2954 (May 7, 2019); see also http://hdl.handle.net/10934/RM0001.COLLECT.5227 (June 26, 2020); Giltaij 2018, pp. 74, fig. on p. 75, 76, 114–15, no. 9.

19 RKD, no. 233354: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/233354 (May 14, 2019); Giltaij 2018, pp. 72, fig. on p. 73, 74, 112–13, no. 8; Blankert 1997, pp. 146–9, no. 18.

20 RKD, no. 239738: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/239738 (May 7, 2019); Giltaij 2018, pp. 81, fig. on p. 82, 83, 120–21, no. 12 (c. 1662); Foucart & Foucart-Walter 2009, p. 216, R.F. 1948–34 (c. 1662).

21 Liedtke 1995, pp. 134–5, no. 40; Sonnenburg 1995, pp. 128–31, no. 40.

22 https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/object/P_F-4-12 (June 21, 2020); for a copy of this print in the RPK, RM, Amsterdam, RP-P-OB-22: http://hdl.handle.net/10934/RM0001.COLLECT.35648 (May 7, 2019); see about this copy Giltaij 2018, pp. 65, fig. on p. 67, 69, 106–7, no. 5.

23 RKD, no. 300370: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/300370 (March 2, 2021); see also https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/object/P_F-6-18 (June 21, 2020); for another copy see http://hdl.handle.net/10934/RM0001.COLLECT.36599 (May 14, 2019).

24 See note 8 above (with Smith quote); RKD, no. 232212: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/232212 (May 14, 2019); Van de Wetering 2017, i, p. 96, fig. 32, ii, p. 495–6, no. 32 (Rembrandt); Liedtke 2007a, ii, pp. 89–90, no. 161 (c. 1660 or later); Liedtke 1995, pp. 89–90, no. 21 (c. 1630–35); Bruyn 1982, pp. 650–53, C 38.

25 RKD, no. 118191: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/118191 (May 14, 2019); Bruyn 1982, pp. 652–3 (fig. 3; reproduced in reverse) under C 38. Liedtke (1995, p. 89, note 4) thinks the print could have been made after a picture other than Related works, no. 3a; also in Liedtke 2007, p. 712 (note 1).

26 RKD, no. 33862: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/33862 (May 14, 2019).

27 RKD, no. 3068: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/3068 (May 14, 2019); Bergvelt, Filedt Kok & Middelkoop 2004, p. 64, pl. 1 (N. Middelkoop); A. Pollmer in ibid., p. 170, no. 146.

28 RKD, no. 299290: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/299290 (Jan. 28, 2021).

29 As suggested by Giltaij 2018, p. 88.

30 The sitter has a cleft chin, which Titus did not have, although in Related works no.1b there is a suggestion of one. Liedtke 1995, p. 130.

31 Ember 2014, p. 176 (J. Giltaij). Giltaij says that Titus worked as an artist, Giltaij 2018, pp. 12, 29; and that in 1670 his profession was painter, ibid., pp. 25, 26 (fig. 10), 29. Some drawings have been associated with him: RKD, no. 261193: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/261193 (dated 1659); RKD, no. 57882: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/57882 and RKD, no. 57881: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/57881 (all three March 2, 2021).

Cookies disclaimer

Our site saves small pieces of text information (cookies) on your device in order to deliver better content and for statistical purposes. You can disable the usage of cookies by changing the settings of your browser. By browsing our website without changing the browser settings you grant us permission to store that information on your device.
I agree