Rembrandt’s Autobiography In A Self Portrait
The painting, portraying Dutch artist Rembrandt Hrmensz himself, will be loaned to the museum and be available for visitors in Gallery 24. The work of art shows the artist in an unusual posture, laughing, and has been painted at the age of 21-22, in his city of birth – Leiden.
The museum director – Brian Kennedy – is thrilled about the discovery, stating it is “one of the most exciting rediscoveries in the recent years”. The painting, entitled Rembrandt Laughing, is considered to be an authentical autobiography of the artist, only in paint.
At first, the portrait was thought to belong to Rembrandt’s older contemporary Frans Hals, and was engraved so, until a few scholars of the 20th century discovered its real identity. However, they were not able to prove their point, considering that the original piece was thought to be lost. It appears that an English family had it for 100 years and made the decision of selling the painting, in 2007, through a local auction house.
The painting, thought to be wearing the signature of “a follower of Rembrandt”, was estimated at $1,600 – $2,400. After the experts figured the real identity of its painter, the picture went up more that a thousand times its initial estimated value, in auction, reaching $4.5 million. However, TMA’s William Hutton curator – Lawrence Nichols, claims that event the actual price is too small, considering the painting’s value, and it’s considered to be a bargain.
The Americans had the opportunity to admire “Rembrandt Laughing” in the past months, as the painting had been on display in Dallas and Denver museums. Both Kennedy and Nichols are admirers of the Dutch work of art and in the following months they will organize lectures on Rembrantd’s paintings, among which Young Man With Plumed Hat and Man In A Fur-Lined Coat.11