Exciting news, everyone! A new painting by Rembrandt has just been discovered!

Why are we excited about this new painting by Rembrandt?

This fascinating piece of art is the first unknown painting by Rembrandt to be discovered in the last 44 years. This painting of a young man was bought at a London auction house and dates all the way back to 1634. Accordingly named ‘Portrait of Young Gentleman’, the date can be determined by the the young man’s French lace collar, which was fashionable around 1633 to 1635. This also means that Rembrandt created this masterpiece at the age of 28 (talk about talent!).

‘Portrait of a Young Gentleman’ (Detail, oil on canvas, 94.5×73.5 cm). Photo by René Gerritsen/Hermitage.

But how do we even know this new painting is by Rembrandt?

The painting was discovered by Amsterdam art dealer and historian Jan Six. After extensive historical research and technical investigation, Six successfully proved that the painting was not produced by one of Rembrandt’s pupils or followers, but by the master himself. In order to verify that the painting does indeed belong to Rembrandt, Six had to investigate paint samples, analyze the work using x-rays, study the primer, the pigments, the brush strokes, and the method of composition. He concluded that all of these separate elements are similar to those found in other works painted by Rembrandt around 1634. And if you’re still not convinced, additionally 15 other conservators and art historians agree that the oil painting is indeed by Rembrandt himself.

But where has this new painting by Rembrandt been all along?

According to sources, the painting originally belonged to British nobility. Rembrandt’s ‘Portrait of Young Gentleman’ had been in this family’s possession for at least six generations. The discovery was made after the portrait was sold to an auction house and finally recognized by Six. The discovery of ‘Portrait of a Young Gentleman’ puts the total number of known Rembrandt works at 342. The last unknown painting by Rembrandt was found in 1974. It was a small early work known as ‘The Baptism of the Eunuch’ believed to have been commissioned in 1626.

‘The Baptism of the Eunuch’. Rembrandt van Rijn, owned by the Museum Catharijneconvent in Utrecht since 1976.

And if you’re already excited by this amazing discovery, we have some more good news for you! ‘Portrait of a Young Gentleman’ will be on show at the Hermitage in Amsterdam from the 16th of May to the 16th of June. 

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