Self-portrait with sketchbook

Original Lost
Part of the Rembrandt Research Project Foundation book series (RRSE, volume 4)


One mezzotint by Jacob Gole (1660–1724) and at least six painted versions are known of this lost Self-portrait. Most of the paintings give the impression of being old. The successive rediscoveries of these paintings repeatedly raised the question of whether any of the versions then known could be the original prototype. Bredius included two of them in his catalogue as paintings by Rembrandt.1 In his revised edition of Bredius’ book, Gerson included three which, however, he described as copies of a lost original.2 Later authors have adopted his view. In Chapter III on pp. 101–108 we attempted to explain why also in our view none of the existing versions can be considered as the prototype. Moreover, we conclude that the print by Gole gives by far the most faithful image of the lost prototype, which is why this print is included below as an independent version (version 1). Of the painted versions, the one in San Francisco is most likely to have originated in Rembrandt’s workshop as a copy after the original.


Paint Layer Support Canvas Yellow Ochre Thread Count Arched Shape 
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© Stichting Foundation Rembrandt Research Project 2005

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