Sleeper alert (ctd.)

December 20 2022

Image of Sleeper alert (ctd.)

Picture: Boston Magazine

The little Rembrandt head study offered in a minor US auction as 'Manner of Rembrandt' last year - which Adam Busiakiewicz spotted when he was running AHN - has been written about extensively in The Boston Magazine.

The article is a profile of the man who bought it, Cliff Shorer (above), and his sleuthing in establishing the picture's attribution, and its fascinating WW2-era provenance. Cliff is the owner of Old Master dealer, Agnews, having bought the firm in 2013, and has a good track record of discoveries, including a Durer drawing. The Boston Magazine describes Cliff as 'the closest thing the art world has to James Bond', which I don't doubt, although Bond would surely know about AHN's views on the use of white gloves... 

According to the article, the picture has so far had a positive reaction in Rembrandt circles. Cliff links it to the same model used by Rembrandt in King Saul (above). I am glad to see a growing acceptance of the idea that Rembrandt - like other artists - did produce studies and sketches, as seen for example in the recent announcement of the Bredius Museum's Crucifixion discovery. Under the Rembrandt Research Project there was sometimes a view that Rembrandt's pictures emerged fully formed, with what were previously accepted as preparatory works downgraded to copies.

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