“The Man with the Golden Helmet” by Circle of Rembrandt
“The Man with the Golden Helmet” by Circle of Rembrandt is masterful artwork that had previously categorized as a work by Rembrandt for many years. Doubts were expressed as to its provenance in 1984 by a Dutch curators’ commission specifically created to investigate Rembrandt’s works of questionable authenticity.
Essential details in the painting’s style did not match the style of Rembrandt’s known works. It is now believed to have been painted by one an unknown Rembrandt student or someone in his close circle. These artworks of questionable authenticity have been labeled as created by the “Circle of Rembrandt.”
The Man with the Golden Helmet has his head turned slightly to the right, and his eyes are cast down. He wears a dark coat with purplish-red sleeves and a martial metal collar as protection around his shoulders. Most distinctly he wears a richly wrought golden helmet with ear-pieces and a plume of short white and red feathers.
The background is dark, but an intense light falls from the left to the top of his gleaming metal helmet. The sitter has been identified as Rembrandt’s brother Adriaen, but this identification is not very probable. Rembrandt’s brother did not live in Amsterdam and had died a few years before this painting was created.
This picture has always been popular over many years due to the beautifully wrought helmet that was probably more ornamental rather than for combat. Also, the pensive expression of the man hints to a mysterious backstory that is left to our imaginations.
School/Circle of Rembrandt van Rijn
Attribution and re-attribution of artworks are ongoing. Several oil paintings previously attributed to Rembrandt’s students have been reclassified as the work of Rembrandt himself. They include:
- Study of an Old Man in Profile
- Study of an Old Man with a Beard
- Study of a Weeping Woman – Detroit Institute of Arts
- Portrait of an Elderly Woman in a White Bonnet
- The Old Man Sitting in a Chair
It should be noted that some of the museums and collectors are not entirely convinced by the arguments of some of the experts. Some of the museums continue to attribute their paintings to Rembrandt because of their quality and challenges in the authentication process.
Other artworks that had previously been assigned to Rembrandt, but today have had their authenticity questioned and are attributed to the School or Circle of Rembrandt van Rijn include:
- The Beheading of John the Baptist – Rijksmuseum
- Study of a Man with Curly Hair
- Woman Plucking a Duck
- Bearded Man in a Fur Hat (Previously “Jew in a Fur Hat”)
- Jacob Shown Joseph’s Bloody Coat
- Rembrandt’s Mother
- Bust of an Old Woman
Rembrandt van Rijn was an innovative and prolific master draughtsman, painter, and printmaker. He is generally considered one of the greatest visual artists in the history of art and the most important in Dutch art history.
Rembrandt’s works depict a range of styles and subjects, from portraits and self-portraits to landscapes, genre scenes, allegorical and historical scenes, biblical and mythological themes as well as animal studies.
“The Man with the Golden Helmet” by Rembrandt
- Title: The Man with the Golden Helmet
- Artist: Rembrandt
- Date: 1650
- Medium: Oil on canvas
- Dimensions: Height: 67.5 cm (26.5″); Width: 50.7 cm (19.9″)
- Museum: Gemäldegalerie, Berlin
- Name: Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn
- Born: 1606 – Leiden, Dutch Republic (now the Netherlands)
- Died: 1669 (aged 63) – Amsterdam, Dutch Republic (Netherlands)
- Nationality: Dutch
- Movement: Dutch Golden Age, Baroque
- Notable Works:
- The Polish Rider
- The Night Watch
- The Jewish Bride
- The Raising of Lazarus
- Christ and the Woman of Samaria
- Self Portrait at the Age of 63
- Wide-Eyed Self-Portrait
- Belshazzar’s Feast
- The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp
- Two Old Men Disputing
- Philosopher in Meditation
- The Woman Taken in Adultery
- Susannah and the Elders
- The Return of the Prodigal Son
- The Prodigal Son in the Brothel
- Moses with the Tablets of the Law
- Circle of Rembrandt
“Without atmosphere, a painting is nothing.”
Photo Credit: 1)Circle of Rembrandt / Public domain