Seated Actor in the Role of Capitano, Rembrandt van Rijn, c. 1634 - c. 1636
Rembrandt’s interest in the theatre lasted throughout his entire career. The costume worn by this actor closely resembles that of the flamboyant, blusterous Capitano, a character in the Italian commedia dell’arte performances and popular in Dutch farces. The woman at the left, an old procuress, offers him an open bag. The Dutch word for ‘bag’ (‘tas’) at the time also meant ‘prostitute’.