The painting “The Adoration of the Kings”, valued two years ago at 10-15 thousand euros, may be sold at the December auction at Sotheby’s auction house in London for 15 million pounds. As the analysis carried out by experts showed, it is the work of the Dutch master Rembrandt.
The first confirmed mentions of the work “The Adoration of the Kings” date back to the 1950s. In 1955, the painting was acquired by the collector JCH Heldring in Amsterdam. The man’s widow sold it thirty years later to a German family. She decided to put it up for sale two years ago. Then, during an auction organized by Christie’s auction house, it was valued at EUR 10-15 thousand (equivalent to PLN 45-68 thousand).
Although in the past selected specialists considered the painting to be the work of a Dutch master, – according to the expertise of a German art historian from 61 years ago – the painting was put up for auction in 2021 as a work of a person from the so-called “Rembrandt circle”. It was suggested that it was painted by one of the painter’s students or another artist close to him. Ultimately, the work was purchased for more than 55 times its estimated price. An anonymous buyer paid EUR 860,000 (PLN 3.9 million) for them.
The painting turned out to be a work by Rembrandt. It could be sold for £15 million
The buyer sent the work to experts from the Sotheby’s auction house, asking them to conduct additional analysis of the painting. As part of the 18-month expertise, specialists conducted a number of discussions with experts in Rembrandt’s work, and also analyzed the painting using X-rays and infrared imaging. The results of their work allowed “The Adoration of the Kings” to be recognized as an original work by Rembrandt made at an early stage of his career. That is why the painting is currently valued at 10-15 million pounds (approx. PLN 53-79 million).
According to the auction house experts, the painting, measuring 24.5 by 18 centimeters, reflects both “Rembrandt’s mastery of using light and the level of care and attention he devoted to his compositions.” “The work also shows the inextricable connection between painting, drawing and graphics in Rembrandt’s artistic practice,” Sotheby’s specialists note. In their opinion, the painting depicting the biblical scene of the bowing of kings was probably created around 1628.
Before the auction in London scheduled for December 6, “The Adoration of the Kings” will be shown at three exhibitions organized by Sotheby’s in New York (November 2-8), Los Angeles (November 14-16) and London (December 1-6). ).
Main photo source: Sotheby’s