Titus

Artist: Rembrandt van Rijn (1657)
The conditions in which the Dutch painters worked were somewhat different from those in other countries: there the artists were more dependent on commissions, thought from about 1630 onwards there arose all over Europe. One of remarkable Dutch painters was Rembrandt van Rijn (1606- 1669)"He more than any other painter, worked at the technique with the purpose of forcing it to submit to the impulses that arose from his soul"(1)
He was always preoccupied with human fate and throughout religious struggling and perturbations he tried to reflect it in his work. His career divides into two periods. In1631 when he went to live in Amsterdam, he at once became highly fashionable as a portrait painter. But soon the death of his wife Seskia in 1642 drove him into solitude and confirmed him in a vocation as painter of inner world. Among all his religious paintings that derived from his Alchemist's life-style we can distinguish a portrait of his son, "Titus". I would like to describe this painting, its significance in Rembrandt's life, as well as to explore the artistical skills that Rembrandt used to make this painting so mysterious.
"Titus is a portrait by a father of his teenage son. It was painted the year after Rembrandt was declared bankrupt and the 15 year old Titus and his step mother Henrickje Stoffels, were obliged to administer the production of Rembrandt's etchings and the sale of his pictures in order to comply with guild regulations"(2)
The picture appears to me very mysterious. Titus is pictured in historical robes with a gold chain, recalling 16th century Venetian portraits. Rembrandt, perhaps, wanted to show that his son will always remain wealthy. Artist carried out the true nature of his son through his serious gaze. We can really say weithe