Works by Rembrandt van Rijn are rarely seen at auction. The precious Old Master's works are worth many millions, coveted by private collectors and museums alike. In 2009, Portrait of a Man with Arms Akimbo (1658) set the Rembrandt record with a €23.2 million sale (over $24.6 million). Other sales, such as Abraham and Angels (c. 1646), have been private for amounts ranging upwards of $20 million. Now, another masterpiece is up for sale. Entitled Blind Tobit with the Return of Tobias and the Archangel Raphael (c. 1628–29), the painting has recently been restored to its full glory and put on sale by Koetser Gallery for an asking price of around €28 million ($30 million).
Rembrandt, who lived in the Netherlands in the 17th century, is one of the Old Masters of the Dutch Golden Age. His name is nearly synonymous with art itself. The magnificent work now up for sale, Blind Tobit, passed from the master painter through other hands. Tracing its provenance, one sees a combination of Dutch names and British aristocrats who hung it in their castle collections. Eventually the painting wound up with an American collector in 1978. It is now up for sale once more, after having been delicately restored. This involved removing discolored varnish so the painting looks as good as new. The artist's tiny signature initials can just be seen.
The painting was on display in an exhibition titled Chasing Rembrandt: The Wadsworth’s Quest for a Rembrandt at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum. It was also placed on view in London by Koetser Galllery during Frieze Masters last month. According to the gallery, the painting is “amongst the most-important, Leiden-period Rembrandts remaining in private hands. The painting is particularly interesting as it demonstrates the emergence of Rembrandt’s precocious pupil, Gerrit Dou (1613–1675), as Dou is understood to have assisted in Blind Tobit’s completion.” The story of Tobit is found in the Hebrew Bible, and it held a certain fascination for Rembrandt and other painters of the age.
Koetser Gallery put a restored Rembrandt painting on sale for an asking price of about $30 million.
h/t: [Robb Report]