A Young Man with a Fur Hat Holding a Staff

Standing with one hand on his hip and the other holding a staff, a young man in a voluminous robe and fur hat seems to gaze off into the distance. A model holding a pose, he is costumed much like the exotic characters in Rembrandt's art. Jacob Adriaensz. Backer, who made this drawing, may have known the older Rembrandt personally and certainly befriended those in the master's circle. But Backer was also influenced by Flemish and Italian artists, and worked with different techniques than Rembrandt. During his lifetime, collectors prized his elegant chalk-on-blue-paper figure studies, like this one. Soft lines and delicate highlighting characterize Backer's draftsmanship. Most of his surviving drawings are of female models, and so this one of a man is rare. It appears similar to Backer's painting of another young man wearing the same fur hat.

Black and white chalk on blue paper (late 1640s)

by Jacob Adriaensz. Backer (Dutch, 1608-1651)

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