Old Masters dealer Jan Six claims he’s in possession of a previously unattributed painting by the Dutch Golden Age master, making this the second Rembrandt van Rijn piece he claims to have uncovered. In May, Six made public his discovery of the first “new” painting by Rembrandt, and now he’s saying he repeated this feat. In 2014, German auction house Lempertz was selling a painting titled Let the Children Come to Me (1627-8), which the dealer says he recognized as a Rembrandt based on a figure in the background who resembled the young artist. While looking at an enlarged image of the work in the auction catalogue, Six told artnet News, he “thought, ‘Hang on, he’s such a young man, around 20. Who would paint Rembrandt in a picture then?’ Because Rembrandt wasn’t famous at that moment, so the only person who could have done that is himself.”
The pre-sale estimate for the painting in question was €15,000–20,000 ($17,500–23,400). Six and an investor bid the canvas all the way up to €1.5 million ($1.75 million), still a steal if the Rembrandt attribution holds. Rembrandt experts Ernst van de Wetering and Bob van den Boogert have co-signed Six’s assessment, while X-ray and MRI scans also supported the claim that it is indeed authentic.
“I’ve been obsessed with Rembrandt for a long time and I think that if you do a lot of research, which I have done, you develop a better sense of what you’re looking at,” Six said. “I just do my job. I try to find pictures, I try to prove them, and in these two cases it worked.” The painting will be shown at the Museum de Lakenhal in Leiden, Netherlands, in November 2019.