Few artists' oeuvres have undergone the shifting critical fortunes as that of Rembrandt van Rijn. Despite the formation of the Rembrandt Research Project in 1968, there is little universal consensus on all of the Dutch master's works. Even a painting as supposedly secure as the Polish Rider has divided scholars: following an attribution to Rembrandt in the nineteenth century the painting's authorship was questioned in 1984 before being re-attributed to Rembrandt in the 1990s. Issues of workshop attributions or the help of assistants in certain paintings further complicates the issue, and the authorship of several well-known paintings, such the David and Jonathan (1642; The State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg), remains disputed.
In light of continuing developments in scholarship, connoisseurship, and the technical analysis of works of art, we expect to see a significant rise in the number of new paintings attributed to Rembrandt in the next decade, especially as the findings of the Rembrandt Research Project are reconsidered. This will include both the inclusion of works previously ascribed to other artists as well as the addition of works newly discovered or newly authenticated. In particular, we anticipate new attributions in paintings and drawings, the two areas of the master's output that remain the most contested among scholars and connoisseurs.
The corpus of Rembrandt's etchings is less problematic, thanks in large part to the eighteenth-century catalog compiled by Adam von Bartsch. The value of most Rembrandt etchings has risen considerably during the past several decades and continues to rise. As attested to by a recent sale of the artist's etchings at Christie's (London, 2006), many of them significantly outperform their estimates: the famous Christ Crucified Between the Two Thieves (B., Holl. 78; H. 270), estimated between $380,000 and 560,000, sold for an astonishing $971,454. Though such exceptional works are a rarity they are a testament to the continued interest in and value of Rembrandt's etchings. Prices vary widely based on size, subject matter, edition, and condition, from a few hundred dollars for small portraits or works attributed to imitators up to several hundred thousand dollars for major works.
If you believe you have a work by Rembrandt-paintings, drawing, or etching-we are prepared to evaluate it for you. Our team of scholars, connoisseurs, auction-house specialists, and forensic researchers can provide you with certificates of authentication, condition reports, provenance histories, and appraisals. In accordance with methods adopted by the Rembrandt Research Project and accepted methodologies of authentication, we are ready to undertake all the necessary work to evaluate your drawing, painting, or etching: dendochronological analysis (for wood panels), x-ray photography, pigment analyses, provenance and archival research, and in-person connoisseurship. For more information, please contact us.