Portrait of a Bearded Man in a Wide-Brimmed Hat
Rembrandt van Rijn (Dutch, 1606-1669)
On View

The man portrayed here is believed to be Pieter Sijen, a merchant who was a member of the Mennonite congregation in Amsterdam. An inscription at the left informs us that he was 41 years of age at the time of this portrait. Rembrandt painted a companion portrait of the man’s wife, Marretje Cornelisdr. van Grotewal, that is now in the collection of the Speed Art Museum in Louisville, Kentucky.

The sitter as depicted embodies sobriety and modesty, values that were important to the middle class in Amsterdam. Yet Rembrandt transforms what could be an austere first impression—given the limitations of the formal black attire that was fashionable at the time—into a warm and insightful portrait. The vivid description of the man’s features, the warm, directional light, and the marvelous brushwork impart a sense of animation that earned Rembrandt a position as one of the most sought-after portraitists in Holland during the 1630s.


  • Artist Name: Rembrandt van Rijn (Dutch, 1606-1669)
  • Title: Portrait of a Bearded Man in a Wide-Brimmed Hat
  • Date: 1633
  • Medium: Oil on panel
  • Dimensions: 27-1/2 x 21-1/2 in. (69.9 x 54.6 cm)
  • Credit Line: Norton Simon Art Foundation
  • Accession Number: M.1977.31.P
  • Copyright: © Norton Simon Art Foundation

Object Information

Sir William Lygon (1872-1938), 7th Earl Beauchamp, Madresfield Court, Great Malvern, Worcestershire, sold 1909 to;
[M. Knoedler & Co., New York, stock no. 4642 (London) and stock no. 11944 (New York), owned with;
P. & D. Colnaghi, London, sold at $175,000 (with its pair now in Speed Museum) January, 1911 to];
Henry Clay Frick (1849-1919), New York, who traded them back to Knoedler in October, 1911;
M. Knoedler & Co., New York, sold May, 1912 to;
William H. Moore, New York, by descent to;
Ada W. Small (Mrs. William Henry Moore, d. 1955), New York, by descent to her son;
Edward S. Moore, New York (sale, London, Sotheby’s, 23 March 1960, lot 67), sold to;
[Thomas Agnew & Sons, Ltd., London, to];
Baron H. Thyssen-Bornemisza, Lugano, until after 1971.
[E.V. Thaw & Co., Inc., New York, to];
Norton Simon Art Foundation.

[on loan]

  • New Haven, Yale University Art Gallery, 1956-06 to 1960-01

[on loan]

  • Rijksmuseum, 1970 to 1977

[on loan]

  • St. Louis Art Museum, 1977-06 to 1977-11

[on loan]

  • Louisville, J.B. Speed Memorial Museum, 1977-11 to 1978-01

Encountering the Dutch Likeness: Portraiture in 17th Century Holland

  • Norton Simon Museum, 1993-09-02 to 1996
  • Wright, Christopher, Rembrandt, fig. 188 p. 202
  • Tümpel, Christian, with contributions by Astrid Tumpel, Rembrandt, no. A 84 pp. 88, 429, 466
  • The Connoisseur, p. 128
  • The Burlington Magazine, p. xv
  • Tümpel, Christian with contributions by Astrid Tümpel, Rembrandt, pp. 428, 88
  • Hofstede de Groot, C., A Catalogue Raisonné of the Works of the Most Eminent Dutch Painters of the Seventeenth Century, no. 769 p. 360
  • Art News, p. 47
  • J. Bruyn; and B. Haak, S. H. Levie, P. J. J. Van Theil, and E. van de Wetering, A Corpus of Rembrandt Paintings, pp. 440-444
  • Art Journal, p. 351
  • C. Fowkes, The Life of Rembrandt, fig. 51 p. 47
  • Arundel Club Portfolio, 1909,
  • Valentiner, Wilhelm R., Rembrandt: Wiedergefundene Gemälde (1910-1920), 1921, pp. 30, pxviii
  • W. R. Valentiner, Rembrant: Wiedergefundene Gemälde (1910-1920), 1923, no. 37 pp. xxii, 32
  • Bredius, Abraham, Rembrandt, schilderijen, 1935, no. 177
  • Bredius, Abraham, Rembrandt, Gemälde. 630 Abbildungen, 1935, no. 177 p. 8
  • Benesch, Otto, Rembrandt, Werk Forschung, 1935, p. 14
  • Sotheby's 216th Season: October 1959-July 1960, 1960, p. 116
  • Sammlung Schloss Rohoncz, 1964, n. 345a
  • Bauch, Kurt, Rembrandt Gemälde, 1966, no. 365
  • The Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection, 1969, vol. 1, p. 281, no. 259; v. 2, pl. 141 p. 281
  • Bredius, Abraham, Rembrandt: the complete edition of paintings, 1969, no. 177 pp. 151, 562
  • Sammlung Thyssen-Bornemisza, 1971, vol. 1, pp. 323-324, no. 259; vol. 2, pl. 141 pp. 323-324
  • Schlégl, Istvàn, and Sàndor Berkes, Praktischer Führer durch de Sammlung Thyssen-Bornemisza, 1971, pp. 64-65
  • The Saint Louis Art Museum Bulletin, 1977, p. 135
  • Morse, John D., Old Master Paintings in North America, 1979, p. 230
  • Slive, Seymour, The J. B. Speed Art Museum Bulletin, 1979, figs. 2, 4 pp. 3-10
  • Norton Simon Museum, Selected Paintings at the Norton Simon Museum, 1980, p. 56
  • Schwartz, Gary, Rembrandt, zijn leven, zijn schilderijen, 1984, no. 140 p. 153
  • Schwartz, Gary, Rembrandt, His Life, His Paintings, 1985, fig. 140 p. 153
  • Sutton, Peter C., A Guide to Dutch Art in America, 1986, p. 217
  • Masterpieces from the Norton Simon Museum, 1989, p. 78
  • Slatkes, Leonard J., Rembrandt: Catalogo completo dei dipinti, 1992, no. 122 p. 214
  • Tümpel, Christian, with contributions by Astrid Tümpel, Rembrandt : All Paintings in Colour, 1993, no. A 84 pp. 88, 432, 462
  • Dickey, Stephanie, Rembrandt: Face to Face, 2006,
  • Campbell, Sara, Collector Without Walls: Norton Simon and His Hunt for the Best, 2010, cat. 1489 p. 412
  • Volker Manuth, Marieke de Winkel, Peter Schatborn, Erik Hinterding, Rembrandt: The Complete Paintings, 2019, fig. 235 p. 657 ; pp. 146, 658 (ill.)
  • Stephanie Dickey, et al., Rembrandt in Amsterdam: Creativity and Competition, 2020, fig. 6.11 pp. 148-150 ; p. 149 (ill.)
  • Heel, S.A.C.Dudok van, Amstelodamum April-June 2020: Rembrandt als portetschilder bij Hendrick Uylenburgh, 1631-1635, met opdrachten in Den Haag, Leiden en Rotterdam, 2020, 29 pp. 77-81
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Additional Artwork by Artist

A Nude Man Standing, Another Seated Rembrandt van Rijn c.1646 (Basan impression)
Beggar Leaning on a Stick, Facing Left Rembrandt van Rijn c. 1630
Beggars Receiving Alms at the Door of a House Rembrandt van Rijn 1648 (Basan impression)

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