‘Not a Rembrandt’ painting gets $4.5M

LONDON – A museum in the Netherlands said the portrait was not by Rembrandt, and the provincial auction house in England was only advertising it as a work by one of his followers — valued at $3,078.

But when 15 minutes of bidding on the painting ended Friday, it had sold for $4.5 million.

“I was shocked,” said Philip Allwood, who had conducted the auction in the town of Cirencester, west of London.

“It tells you about the art market today. People are very prepared to pay big money for the right pieces, or what they feel are the right pieces,” the auctioneer said in a telephone interview Saturday.

“The Young Rembrandt as Democrates the Laughing Philosopher,” a 9.5-by-6.5 inch portrait of a young man, had hung in a local home for years.

The unidentified winning bidder may have concluded that it was a self-portrait by Rembrandt van Rijn, despite expert opinion.

The 17th-century Dutch artist painted a series of self-portraits. About 40 are recognized as his work, but others are believed to have been copies made by his students.

Allwood, the auctioneer for the Moore, Allen & Innocent, said the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam and the unidentified owner of the oil painting that was sold Friday had concluded it was not by Rembrandt.

The auction house advertised the work as by a follower of Rembrandt.

Jan Six, a Dutch art expert with Sotheby’s auction house in Amsterdam, said Sotheby’s was an adviser for a potential buyer — who did not win the painting.

“Nobody pays 2.2 million (pounds, $4.5 million) for a follower of Rembrandt. If this was a known Rembrandt and was published in 20 books and had a great provenance it would go for 10 million (pounds, $21 million),” Six said Saturday.

He said the palette and pose of the painting were very characteristic of Rembrandt, and that the face was clearly his.

If the portrait is one day accepted as a Rembrandt, the buyer will have a bargain.

In January, a Rembrandt painting, “Saint James the Greater,” sold for $25.8 million at Sotheby’s in New York.


Bookmark with:


Starting today, the ‘Last Supper’ will travel on the Internet at 16 billion pixels

Today, for the very first time, The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci, the most famous, most discussed and most controversial work of art of all time, declared a World Heritage work of art and registered at the UNESCO worldwide sites, can be seen by all, in all its details, on the website: Haltadefinizione

The online visualisation system of the highest definition photograph ever in the world (16 billion pixels) will in fact let viewers enlarge and observe any portion of the painting, giving them a clear view of sections down to as little as one millimetre square.

The project started at the beginning of 2007, as a result of the meeting between the Ministry of Cultural Assets and Activities – Milan Landscape and Architectural Assets Office, De Agostini and HAL9000, a worldwide leader in the high-definition photography sector. This photographic technique has two benefits: on one hand, it is a unique instrument of its kind for “monitoring” the state of the painting and, on the other hand, it allows anyone on the Internet, from any part of the world, to observe all the parts and details of the work. Thanks to this technology, HAL9000 can also create large high-quality fine art prints of The Last Supper which offer an overall and detailed visual perception never possible before.

The photograph of The Last Supper, one of the most delicate and protected works in the world, is the result of many months of work and research, during which specific lighting and photography techniques were developed. The protection of the painting was, right from the start, the main concern of the HAL9000 technicians and the Architectural Assets Office; the photography system designed and implemented by HAL9000 was subject to technical inspection at the Environmental Control and Physics Laboratory at the Central Restoration Institute in Rome, which decided the system was totally suitable in accordance with current standards for the safeguarding of artistic works.

This first and unique, official photographic record of The Last Supper is presented today, in the ‘Bramante’ Sacristy in the Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan. The presentation involves talks by Arch. Alberto Artioli, Supervisor of the Milan Landscape and Architectural Assets Office, Prof. Pietro Marani, President of the Da Vinci Research Institute and Professor of Modern Art History at the Polytechnic of Milan, as well as HAL9000, the company which took the photographs of the work. The Minister of Cultural Heritage and Activities, Francesco Rutelli, is attending the press conference.

The project was made possible thanks to the assistance of various partners: AMD, an American multinational which provided the high-tech processing technology; Clauss, a German company which provided the high-precision orientation structure, De Agostini, who provided web and communication support; I-Net, who provided high-speed Internet access, and Nikon, for high-tech state-of-the-art photographic equipment.

If you liked this post you can buy me a cup of coffee! 😉

Bookmark with:

Raj painting sells for over $1m

A historic painting of a meeting between British and Indian officials during the days of the Raj has sold for 12 times its estimated value. The picture – painted by Indian artist Raja Ravi Varma in 1880 – sold for £602,400 ($1.24m).

It was sold by the London auctioneer, Bonhams, on Friday for a price which dwarfed the estimated sale price of £50,000-70,000.

It fetched three times what the next most expensive Varma painting went for.

The painting is of the Maharaja of Travancore and his younger brother welcoming Richard Temple-Grenville, governor-general of Madras, on an official visit to what is now the southern state of Kerala in 1880.

The painting was bought by Neville Tuli, who correspondents say represents one of the top art dealers in Mumbai (Bombay).

Mr Tuli told the Press Association news agency that his acquisition was significant as “it is very important to bring back to India part of its artistic cultural heritage”.

A Bonhams spokesman said the picture had generated so much interest because it depicted a meeting between an English aristocratic and an Indian aristocrat at the height of British rule over India.

Correspondents say that Mr Varma (1848-1906) was one of the most admired academic painters of colonial India, and was often invited to state occasions by British and Indian high officials.


Bookmark with: