New Leiden Collection Rembrandt

October 24 2021

Image of New Leiden Collection Rembrandt

Picture: The Leiden Collection

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Leiden Collection have uploaded a full catalogue note for their recently acquired Bust of a Young Bearded Man by Rembrandt.

The painting has a rather interesting history. It was first recorded with the Dukes of Ancaster at Grimsthorpe Castle in the early nineteenth century and was sold at various points during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The work was subsequently 'neglected' in the Rembrandt literature since the 1930s and had previously bore some eighteenth-century additions including a hat and large white collar which have since been removed:

The last time the picture was last sold in 2004 at Sotheby's Olympia, London, where the picture was catalogued as 'Rembrandt School, Seventeenth Century'. It achieved a mere £33,600 in this sale.

Shortly after the sale a detailed restoration and set of scientific analysis was initiated at University College London. However, it was in 2020 when conservator Michel van de Laar took another look at the work identifying several pentimento and techniques suggesting Rembrandt's own hand. This included the application of Rembrandt's signature when the painting was still wet, along with other marks suggesting the artist was working at speed.

The painting had been on loan to the National Trust in recent years. Indeed, someone should probably tell the NT as the painting is still featured on their collections website.

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