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The world’s ‘most expensive painting of its size’ on display at the Hermitage Museum

Bust of a bearded old man by Rembrandt, Leiden Collection Photo: S Boztas

The world’s most expensive paintings are on display in Amsterdam.

Fractions less than 12 square inches (or 76 square cm), Rembrandt Bust of an old man with a beard is one of the highlights of new display Hermitage Museum in Amsterdam, Rembrandt and his contemporaries.

The old man in Rembrandt’s 1633 oil painting has his eyes down and a single light source illuminating his features. It may be smaller than a smartphone, but it packs a punch. This is his one of 35 paintings on loan from the privately owned Leiden Collection in Holland.th I am back in Holland after a few decades.

“It was my great white whale,” said owner of Thomas S. Kaplan Leiden Collection, told Dutch News. “Every year, most religiously, I ask Sotheby’s to ask the owner if he wants to sell it. gave a price to

“I had a decision to remember that I paid top dollar for a painting per square inch, or that I was an idiot to miss what I had been asking for for ten and a half years.”


Kaplan, an American billionaire art collector who made his fortune in silver and zinc mines, purchased a miniature in 2018 that measures just 10.6cm by 7.2cm. A travel box, displayed in this box in Amsterdam.

“Obviously I’m not the only one obsessed with this painting,” Kaplan said. “This case was fabricated by Andrew Mellon, who was the Secretary of the Treasury. his entire art collection build a national gallery [of Art] In Washington, but he kept it, created this special case, and carried it with him wherever he went. , made me feel better about my obsession.

He didn’t disclose the price, but in 2009 Rembrandt’s painting sold at christie’s Won a record £20.2million in London.Rembrandt’s Portrait by Maerten Soolmans and Oopjen Coppit Acquisition Donated to the Rijksmuseum and the Louvre in 2016 for 160 million euros.

Rembrandt’s Minerva in Her Study, 1635 @ Leiden Collection

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The new exhibition includes works by Rembrandt’s teacher Pieter Lastmann, his pupil Ferdinand Boll, Karel Fabritius and Arendt de Gelder, and historical paintings by Frans van Nielis and Jan Steen from the 17th century. It aims to show the importance of historical narrative inth Dutch painting of the century.

Marlies Kreiterp, director of exhibitions at the Hermitage Amsterdam, said these often allegorical paintings were considered the highest form of art at the time. Another highlight of the exhibition, Minerva in Rembrandt’s Study (1635), does more than just depict the Roman goddess of wisdom.

“History painting was important for bringing a moral dimension to the painting,” she told Dutch News. Minerva is depicted as the goddess of wisdom rather than war.


Arthur Wheelock, former curator of the National Gallery in Washington and senior adviser to the Leiden Collection, said Rembrandt and his contemporaries also relate historical scenes to audiences. “If you want to be a great artist [at the time]you had to be a history painter,” he said at a press conference.

“Ancient stories are fascinating because they were important to how we behaved in everyday life. It was a model of behavior.

of exhibition Opens February 4th and runs through August 27th.

https://www.dutchnews.nl/news/2023/02/worlds-most-expensive-painting-for-its-size-on-display-at-hermitage-museum/ The world’s ‘most expensive painting of its size’ on display at the Hermitage Museum

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