So You Think You Have a Rembrandt Painting
Authenticating Rembrandt paintings is not as hard as most believe. True, there are more “Rembrandteque” paintings around than any one else’s. The art historians have scientifically worked on him more than other artists. Thus, collectors can feel certain there is a definitive answer to a paintings authenticity.
Rembrandt, as a young man, painted thin and with a lot of detail. As he got older, his brush strokes loosened up and he applied paint thick, sometimes even with a palette knife. There are reference books showing all the known paintings and books showing all the preparatory drawings for lost works.
The Dutch museums have carefully cataloged the exact type of canvas Rembrandt used in each period and even the type of wood stretchers. There has been exhaustive chemical studies on the type of paint he used.
We are asked to research two to three “Rembrandts” every month. Almost all of them turn out to be:
- works painted by one of his student’s in his style
- old copy of a known work
- period work by a different artist
Just because the painting turns out not to be by Rembrandt, doesn’t mean it is worthless. Even a good old copy of a known work can have antique painting value of over $10,000.00. Paintings done by his students can be sold easily for over $100,000.00 and Dutch paintings from his period fetch regularly over $1,000,000.00. All “Rembrandt” paintings are excellent art value. Everyone loves an antique painting.
Don’t be discouraged if an auction house or another appraiser said it wasn’t real. We take the attitude, if Rembrandt didn’t do it, who did? Most of the time they never bother to go this extra step that we do.
Your research fee should not be considered a “big gamble”. 80% of the works we feel should bear research turn out to have significant values and easily sold. We’ll even help you sell it.
Still think you have a Rembrandt? Just send to us a photograph of the front and back along with measurements. We’ll write back and tell you if it has a chance to be something. Our minimum fee then is $895.00 – $3,875.00. We’ll request a check to begin the research.
What are the Risks and Rewards?
The world auction record for an oil painting is over $100 million. It was for a Rembrandt. Many Rembrandts regularly sell for over $25 million.
A poor copy of a Rembrandt still sells for $5,000-$10,000. Collectors who can’t afford an original eagerly search for these. A painting in Rembrandt’s style still sells for many times our reasonable research and appraisal fee. If your Rembrandt is not worth at least 3 times our fee, we won’t risk your money. That’s a promise!
Rembrandt painted self-portraits throughout his entire life. He painted more than any other artist. We have in our files a complete record of all of them. They all are painted in about the same pose. If you place them in order, Rembrandt seems to age in front of you. Notice how he changes from an arrogant young artist to a broken old man as bankruptcy and death of his family take their toll on his face.