Rembrandt painted a young man (his son Titus?) in a Franciscan habit in 1660 (Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam), and there is a third portrait study of a Franciscan, dated 1661 (Helsinki, Atheneum). In their own day these paintings were probably considered to be 'tronies' (literally, heads), which were not meant to depict identifiable individuals. The sitter is instead depicted in a particular role, or as a character study. Pictures of this kind were popular among 17th-century collectors and can often be found in contemporary inventories.

Key facts

Artist
Artist dates
1606 - 1669
Full title
A Franciscan Friar
Date made
about 1655
Medium and support
Oil on canvas
Dimensions
89 x 66.5 cm
Inscription summary
Signed; Dated
Acquisition credit
Presented by Duke of Northumberland, 1838
Inventory number
NG166
Location in Gallery