A copper by a « follower of Rembrandt » auctioned at £2.2 million

(Follower of ?) Rembrandt
Portrait of Rembrandt(?)
Copper - 23.7 x 17 cm
Sold at Moore, Allen & Innocent,
26th October 2007

29/10/07 — Discovery — United Kingdom, Art market — It is not unusual for an anonymous work to be sold far over its original estimate. We have given some examples on The Art Tribune, for instance the two works by Simon Vouet (articles of September 18, 2006 and November 8, 2006) or, on The Art Tribune, that of a likely Titian (News of July 21, 2007). Last week, 22nd October, at an auction house in Tours (France), the sale price of a painting representing a Study of a Horse, estimated at a negligible price, rose to 280.000€ (without charges) : it was in fact a canvas by Baron Gros.

A further exploit took place last Friday, 26th October, at a small English auction house, Moore, Allen & Innocent in Norcote. A Portrait of The Young Rembrandt as Democritus, on copper (ill.), presented as a follower of the master was sold for £2.2million with an estimate of £1.500. It is obvious that the two bidders (since there have to be two people convinced of the attribution for it to reach such heights) thought that it was really a self-portrait by the master himself. We will not venture an opinion on this painting, as Rembrandt is one of the artists whose corpus is constantly under revision. Suffice it to say that the spirit of the work seems more trivial than that of his other paintings.

Rembrandt’s name had already been mentioned but discarded by the owner, by the auction house and, if we are to believe The Guardian, by the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. This in no way daunted the buyer who will have made an excellent purchase [1] if he manages to have it authenticated, a far poorer one if not.

Version française

Didier Rykner, mardi 30 octobre 2007


[1] The last two Rembrandts to have been auctioned, St. James the Elder and a Portrait of a Young Woman with a Black Cap were sold respectively for about £13.5 and £4.7 million.

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