In his self-portrait, Ferdinand Bol shows his respect for his teacher Rembrandt by modeling his painting after Rembrandt's Self Portrait at the Age of 34 (1640). While Bol honors his mentor, he also uses the portrait to indicate his own ability. The artist shows himself holding a scroll and wearing a double gold chain and cross, both indications of success. The scroll alludes to Bol's talent as a speaker, a quality that was expected of the best painters of the time, while the gold chain and cross were awarded by the government for great accomplishment in the arts. Finally, Bol depicts himself drawing back a curtain, a device used by artists to indicate their talent for depicting space realistically.