This self-portrait is considered to be the only incontestable self-portrait of Jacob Jordaens (1593–1678) in Belgian collections. The King Baudoun Foundation received the work through a bequest and has entrusted it to the Rubenshuis in Antwerp.
Jordaens looks towards the viewer. He is wearing casual but luxurious clothes, which he no doubt wore at home but which nevertheless reveal him to be a successful artist. His shirt collar is simple and unadorned, but his jacket is edged with gold braid and has eye-catching buttons. The work is likely to represent Jordaens’s true nature – sure of himself but with a certain reserve.
Jordaens made several portraits of himself, both alone and as part of a group. When he features alone, it is systematically as a bust, often holding a sheet of paper in his hand.
The King Baudouin Foundation’s work is a variant of the self-portrait that can be seen today in the Staatsgalerie of the Château of Neuburg an der Donau (Bavaria) and is considered to be an iconic representation of the Jordaens.