Portrait of Titus, 1658 by Rembrandt

In The Portrait of Titus, Rembrandt has returned to the convention of the full frontal portrait in order to record the by now adolescent features of his son. The only strong colour in the picture is the red velvet cap, the rest is a quiet arrangement of browns, with a touch of gold on the hair and the chain round his neck.

The artist has painted his son with the same sense of penetration usually reserved for his own features. He has not forgotten the convention of half the face in shadow, which he had used so many years before in The Hague Self-Portrait, 1629. Titus emerges as a slightly moody young man, although it is tempting to suggest that Rembrandt had unconsciously imposed his own melancholy on the sitter.