The Artist’s Son Titus is a 1657 portrait of Dutch painter Rembrandt van Rijn’s son Titus who was the only child to survive infancy during the marriage of Rembrandt and his first wife Saskia.
Here Titus is painted in a grand Baroque style at the age of about sixteen. The demeanour of Titus is at the same time serious and inquisitive as he looks out to the viewer. He is adorned by a golden chain and furs with a striking red beret. This young man is portrayed as already accomplished. Light falls on Titus’s luxuriant brown hair and his face, and fixes our gaze on his own as if we encounter an equal for anyone.
In fact this portrait was painted the year after Rembrandt was declared bankrupt, so he choices for the dress of his son here could be seen as a public statement of the recovery of his finances and by extension his prestige. Just twelve years later, at the age of twenty-seven, Titus died. Sadly this preceded Rembrandt’s own death by a year.
Rembrandt’s The Artist’s Son Titus can be found at the Wallace Collection in London.