The world’s largest private collector of Rembrandt and 17th-century Dutch paintings presented digitized collection online.
Perhaps the most valuable (and certainly the loudest) recent acquisition of the Leiden Collection was the painting Unconscious Patient (Allegory of Smell) by Rembrandt.
This panel is part of a series of the Five Senses that Rembrandt painted when he was just an 18-year teenager. It is one of his earliest works known to us. Up to 2015, it was considered as lost, until it came up at a small US auction catalogued as "Continental School, Nineteenth Century."
Left: Rembrandt van Rijn, Unconscious Patient (Allegory of Smell), 1625.
Thomas Kaplan was only eight years old when he asked his parents to visit Amsterdam "because that is where Rembrandt lived." He just wanted to see as many paintings by the Dutch Master as possible, not even assuming that someday he would begin to collect them. The young fellow thought that all valuable masterpieces of the Golden Age of Northern Baroque art were safely sequestered in museums. He was astonished when he learnt the quantity of paintings from that epoch still remaining in private hands.
Left: Thomas Kaplan. Photo via Forbes.
- Rembrandt van Rijn, Minerva in HerA study is an exercise painting that helps the painter better understand the object he or she paints. It is simple and clear, like sample letters in a school student’s copybook. Rough and ready, not detailed, with every stroke being to the point, a study is a proven method of touching the world and making a catalogue of it. However, in art history, the status of the study is vague and open to interpretation. Despite its auxiliary role, a study is sometimes viewed as something far more significant than the finished piece. Then, within an impressive frame, it is placed on a museum wall., 1635.
So, when does a study remain a mere drill, and when can we call it an artwork in its own right, full of life and having artistic value? Read more
- Attributed to Gerrit Dou, Self-Portrait (?) at an Easel, ca. 1628–29.
The Carel Fabritius’s Goldfinch from 1654 found superstardom thanks to Donna Tartt
Main illustration: detail of Judah and Tamar by Arent de Gelder, ca. 1680−85.