The Sotheby’s auction house reported that on December 5, 2018, a unique portrait of the Dutch painter Rembrandt would be put up for sale: the artist’s fingerprints could have been preserved.
The representative of Sotheby’s, George Gordon, said that the prints were discovered during the examination and recovery a few years ago, in the painting “Study of a Head of a Young Man”, reports the Associated Press.
The picture depicting the Head of Christ is a quickly drawn oil sketch on an oak panel.
At the same time, Gordon noted that the experts cannot be “100% sure” that the prints belong to Rembrandt, but they certainly belong to someone who took the picture as soon as it was finished. “Detection of marks in the original paint layer … makes their connection with the artist very likely,” he added.
Michel Van de Laar, who first noticed fingerprints together with researcher Ari Wallert, said that the picture was completed in one session, using a practice that involves the rapid application of paints and layers. This method could only be used by a qualified craftsman, as there is a risk of smearing the drawing.
“The opening of the fingerprints is another indication of the speed with which the work was done, and provides up-to-date information about the sophisticated, but the fast, drawing technique of Rembrandt,” added Van de Laar.
Sotheby’s said that the picture will be posted for sale in London on December 5, with an estimated value of 6 million pounds (7.7 million dollars).
This will be the first appearance of this painting, painted about 400 years ago, on the art market in the last 60 years.