This characterful self-portrait was made by Thomas Worlidge towards the end of his career. Worlidge was an inventive and successful printmaker and portraitist.
He started his career in Bath but always kept a London address, generally in the Covent Garden area, moving into Thomas Hudson's old house in Great Queen Street in 1763. Worlidge visited Bath almost every year where, like Hoare and Gainsborough, he catered to a captive fashionable clientele during the winter social season. This sensitive, late self-portrait is evidence of Worlidge’s life-long interest in the work of Rembrandt. Like Rembrandt, Worlidge regularly made drawn and etched self-portraits, including one in the guise of Rembrandt himself. This sensitive study seems likely to have been made at the end of his life when he and his third wife, Mary Wickstead, operated a family business engraving stone seals and operating a toy shop in Bath.