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Follower of Rembrandt, A Seated Man with a Stick

Key facts
Full title A Seated Man with a Stick
Artist Follower of Rembrandt
Artist dates 1606 - 1669
Date made perhaps 1675-1725
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 137.5 × 104.8 cm
Acquisition credit Presented by Sir George Beaumont, 1823/8
Inventory number NG51
Location Room 19
Collection Main Collection
Previous owners
A Seated Man with a Stick
Follower of Rembrandt

This image of a man lit dramatically from one side as he grasps his walking stick and stares rather aloofly at the viewer is probably not a portrait. Rather it is a study of a character type, dressed in an exotic costume intended to evoke an earlier era.

Portraying figures in imaginary historical costume was common at the time. Rembrandt painted several and the subject, the lighting and the use of colour in this painting is reminiscent of his work. But while his signature can be seen on the bottom left of the painting, most art historians now believe it to be false and that this is a work by one of his students or imitators. The numerous adjustments to the sitter’s position and the shape of his hat revealed in X-ray images suggest a less confident approach to the painting than might be expected from Rembrandt himself.

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