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Friday, May 17, 2013

Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn


Rembrandt Laughing
c. 1628
oil on copper
22.2 x 16.8 cm (8 3/4 x 6 5/8 in.) 
J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, CA, USA

Painted on copper plate, it shows Rembrandt in his early 20s in mid-laugh, with his head thrown back.
The value of this painting, once thought to be a knockoff, skyrocketed after the Rembrandt Research Project determined its true origin. “It has now been established on a range of stylistic and technical grounds that this is an authentic early work by Rembrandt dating from around 1628.” Before its discovery, Rembrandt Laughing hung quietly in the possession of an English family for more than 100 years. It first came to public attention at the English country auction in 2008, which identified it as work by “a follower of Rembrandt.” The auctioneers estimated its value at around $3,000. But scholars suspected this image was the real deal, so a bidding war erupted. The painting sold for about $5.2 million to an unidentified bidder before it was even properly authenticated.
In May, 2013, The Getty Museum has acquired this painting. The purchase price is not disclosed but it is roughly estimated at around $30,000,000 to $40,000,000.

"Choose only one master -  Nature." (Rembrandt)
Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (1606 - 1669), born in Leiden as the eighth of nine children of a miller, was a Dutch painter and etcher. Despite the fact that he came from a family of relatively modest means, his parents took great care with his education. He was the first and the only of their sons who was sent to the school for Latin. After seven years’ schooling (1613-1620), at the age of 14, Rembrandt entered the Philosophical Faculty of Leiden University to study Classics. He is generally considered one of the greatest painters and printmakers in European art history and the most important in Dutch history. His contributions to art came in a period of great wealth and cultural achievement that historians call the Dutch Golden Age, when Dutch Golden Age painting, although in many ways antithetical to the Baroque style that dominated Europe, was extremely prolific and innovative.

Having achieved youthful success as a portrait painter, Rembrandt's later years were marked by personal tragedy and financial hardships. Between 1635 and 1641 Saskia (his wife) gave birth to four children, but only the last, Titus, survived; her own death came in 1642 - at the age of 30. Hendrickje Stoffels, engaged as his housekeeper about 1649, eventually became his common-law wife and was the model for many of his pictures. Despite Rembrandt's financial success as an artist, teacher, and art dealer, his penchant for ostentatious living forced him to declare bankruptcy in 1656. Yet these problems in no way affected Rembrandt's work. His etchings and paintings were popular throughout his lifetime, his reputation as an artist remained high. His personal life, however, continued to be marred by sorrow. His beloved Hendrickje died in 1663, and his son, Titus, in 1668 - only 27 years of age. Eleven months later, on October 4, 1669, Rembrandt died in Amsterdam.

His paintings are characterized by luxuriant brushwork, rich color, and a mastery of chiaroscuro. He was a master of light and shadow whose paintings, drawings, and etchings made him a giant in the history of art. Numerous portraits and self-portraits exhibit a profound penetration of character. His drawings constitute a vivid record of contemporary Amsterdam life. His self-portraits form a unique and intimate biography, in which the artist surveyed himself without vanity and with the utmost sincerity. Because of his renown as a teacher, his studio was filled with pupils, some of whom were already trained artists.
http://www.imaginarymuseum.net/view/flipcard