Man in Oriental Dress, Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn, 1635

Man in Oriental Dress, Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn, 1635

oil on panel, h 72cm × w 54.5cm. More details

Rembrandt manipulated light in a highly personal way. Here, the man’s turban and the right side of his face are brilliantly illuminated, while the left side is in shadow. Exotic character heads like this – they are not portraits – were extremely popular in the 17th century; early on, they were widely copied and imitated. They were known as ‘Turkish tronies’.

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