Two Rare Rembrandt Portraits at Christie’s in July

Two Rare Rembrandt Portraits Will Hit the Block at Christie’s in July, 199 Years After They Were First Sold by the Auction House.

May 15, 2023By Angela Davic, News, Discoveries, In-depth Reporting, and Analysis
Two Rare Rembrandt Portraits
Rembrandt van Rijn. Via Wikipedia


Two Rare Rembrandt Portraits could be the last artworks created by this famous painter. Two centuries ago, these same portraits sold through the same auction house. The tradition will repeat itself this year, in July 6. They will be part of Christie’s Old Masters Part I Sale program. Also, they could fetch $6.2 million to $10 million.


Two Rare Rembrandt Portraits Are Also the Last Ones?

Two paintings by Rembrandt Van Rijn. Courtesy of Christie’s.


In 1635, Rembrandt painted portraits of two of his old acquaintances: the wealthy Leiden plumber Jan Willemsz van der Pluym and his wife Jaapgen Carels. In the same year, Rembrandt and his wife bought a garden next to his mother’s garden. Later, their son wed the artist’s uncle’s niece. Christie’s calls these works of art the last results of Rembrandt’s work.

Henry Pettifer, Christie’s International Deputy Chairman of Old Master Paintings made it possible for these works of art to end up in this auction house for the second time. In a statement, Pettifer called the find “one of the most exciting discoveries we have made in the Old Masters field in recent years”.


Aristotle with a bust of Homer by Rembrandt, 1653, via The Met Museum.


“Painted with a deep sense of humanity, these are amongst the smallest and most intimate portraits that we know by Rembrandt, adding something new to our understanding of him as a portraitist of undisputed genius”, the executive said.


The First Appearances After Two Centuries

Blank frames honoring stolen Rembrandts at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, photo by Chris Dignes, via Flickr

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Christies independently conducted an investigation to determine their legitimacy. The auction house also said the paintings have “virtually unbroken line of provenance”. Some other experts also came to the same conclusion, such as the Rijksmuseum experts from Amsterdam. They also conducted their own research and studies.

Before the auction, the works will be exhibited first in New York (from July 10 to 14), and then in Europe. When it comes to Europe, Amesterdam Rembrandt lovers will get to see these rediscovered works from June 21 to 24th. After that, in London from Jula 1 to 6th. These events symbolically mark the first presentation of these works of art, after two years.


The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp by Rembrandt van Rijn, 1632, via Mauritshuis, The Hague


Rembrandt artwork has a lengthy relationship with the auction house. The artist’s 1658 work Portrait of a Man with Arms Akimboended up selling at Christie’s for $25.3 million. This is also the highest price record for an artist. Two priceless Rembrandt masterpieces privately sold to France and the Netherlands in 2016 with Christie’s assistance.

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By Angela DavicNews, Discoveries, In-depth Reporting, and AnalysisAngela is a journalism student at the Faculty of Political Science in Belgrade and received a scholarship for continued education in Prague. She completed her internship at the daily newspaper DANAS and worked as an executive editor at Talas.