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The identity of the man in this painting is unknown. An inscription says that it is a self-portrait, created when the artist was twenty-two years old. Its style suggests that it was painted around 1740.
The artist is shown in sober clothing. He wears a type of cap often worn by artists in their studios. It also associates this painter with Rembrandt, who famously painted himself in such working clothes. Rembrandt was an important role-model for artists in eighteenth-century Britain, admired for his technical brilliance and profundity.

September 2004