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In 1656 Rembrandt was declared bankrupt and at about the time this portrait was painted his sixteen-year old son, Titus van Rijn (1641–1668), and Titus’s stepmother, Hendrickje Stoffels, were forced to administer the production of his etchings and the sale, in 1658, of his pictures. Rembrandt sympathetically captures the young man’s serious gaze while his bravura handling of the paint lends the image an appearance of spontaneity and immediacy. The restricted palette, dominated by brown and dark red, and the sharp contrasts of light and shade accentuate this feeling of intimacy, further adding to the illusion of psychological connection between viewer and sitter. Of the twelve Rembrandts listed in The Wallace Collection when it was bequeathed to the nation in 1897, this is the only work to retain its full attribution to Rembrandt unchallenged.