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With great power and poignancy, Rembrandt has depicted a young man literally weighed down with heavy armour and weapons, and appearing to have profound thoughts of battles ahead. Significantly, this soldier's armour, circular shield and lance are all of a style essentially obsolete by the time the painting was made. This suggests that he is to be understood as a figure from the past. His helmet, evoking antiquity, is an invention by the artist, mixing the rear neck-guard of a contemporary cavalry helmet with a brow plate and crest in a style then considered to be characteristically classical.
oil on canvas
H 137.5 x W 104.4 cm
bequeathed by Jane Graham-Gilbert, 1877