New Rembrandts have continued to surface in recent decades. These include works already in museums as well as previously unknown items owned by families and individuals. Thanks to new research, increasingly sophisticated technologies, and the critical eyes of connoisseurs, there is now a better chance than ever of authenticating works that may have been by Rembrandt.
Old Man with a Beard, x-rays confirmed this is a Rembrandt
Two notable examples from museums are La Main Chaude (National Gallery, Dublin) and Old Man with Beard (Private Collection, on loan to Rembrandt House Museum). In both instances, experts recently confirmed that the paintings were authentic Rembrandts, rather than the work of followers or students.
Other recent findings have come from private owners. In 1997 an original copperplate etched by Rembrandt was discovered on the back of a painting by the Flemish artist Pieter Gysels. The painting was bought by a family in 1946 from a small antiques shop in Yorkshire; when an expert examined the painting she discovered the etching on the back of the plate. It is one of only seven copperplates that remains untouched since Rembrandt’s day, making it an exceptionally rare find.
Yet another Rembrandt was found in an attic in a house in Scotland. The house’s owner found the drawing in 2012, and experts soon recognized it as a work by the master. The drawing, of a blind beggar with a boy and a dog, was valued at £80,000. When it was sold at auction by Christie’s in London it went for £133,250 ($209,069).
These and other cases demonstrate the shifting fortunes and continued discovery of works from the Golden Age of Dutch painting. An artist like Rembrandt presents specific challenges as well as opportunities. His extraordinary output in a variety of media makes it not only possible but also likely that there are works waiting to be discovered.
If you think you may have a painting, drawing, or print by Rembrandt, please feel free to contact us and we will promptly respond with how to proceed.