In this extraordinary self-portrait, Rembrandt?s direct gaze arrests attention. The effects of time and experience are written on his face, in which he explored the subtle colouring and textures of ageing skin with startling objectivity. The artist left more than eighty paintings, etchings and drawings of himself which record his appearance throughout his career, and reflect something of his changing fortunes. They also confirm his remarkable creative energy even amidst personal crisis. By the time he painted this work, in either 1657 or 1659, he had endured great personal and financial difficulties.