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Rembrandt Painting, with Artist's 'Fingerprints', Expected to Fetch $7 Million

Titled 'Study of the Head and Clasped Hands of a Young Man as Christ in Prayer', the oil sketch was "rapidly painted" on an oak panel, and is coming under the hammer, for the first time in 60 years.

News18.com

Updated:November 22, 2018, 4:33 PM IST
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Rembrandt Painting, with Artist's 'Fingerprints', Expected to Fetch $7 Million
A self-portait of and by Rembrandt (Image: Wikipedia)
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A painting by Dutch master Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn, most famously known by his first name, is to be auctioned in London next month. Apart from its obvious pedigree, in that it is a work by Rembrandt, considered one of the greatest artists in history, the small representation of Jesus Christ is all the more remarkable because experts have discovered two fingerprinst on the painting, which almost certainly belong to the virtuoso himself.

Titled 'Study of the Head and Clasped Hands of a Young Man as Christ in Prayer', the oil sketch was "rapidly painted" on an oak panel, and is coming under the hammer, for the first time in 60 years and experts have estimated it will be sold for about £6 million or $7.7 million.

According to The Guardian, George Gordon, the co-chair of Sotheby’s old master paintings department, cautioned that it was not possible to completely ascertain that the fingerprints belonged to Rembrandt, as no comparable examples had ever been found. “But the discovery of the marks in the original layer of paint along the lower edge make their connection to the artist highly credible,” he said.

The Guardian further reported that Michel van de Laar, a conservator who first spotted the fingerprints with Arie Wallert, a scientific researcher, said the painting would have been executed in one sitting, a practice known as ten eersten opmaken, referring to the 'rapidly painted' descriptor. The process involves additional colours and layers being quickly applied before the underlay dries. According to van de Laar, the method was prone to smudging and could only be accomplished by the most skilled of painters.



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