The Lost (and Found) Works of Rembrandt


Rembrandt | July 15, 1606 – October 4, 1669 | one of the great masters of Dutch painting.

Learn a little more about this Baroque artist and some curiosities about his works.

An article by Rute Ferreira author of several online courses about art history.

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Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn

You have surely heard of Rembrandt or know some of his works, such as Night Watch or Return of the Prodigal Son.


Night Watch, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn is one of the leading artists of the Baroque periodAnalysis in art and a true master of Dutch painting.

Born in Leida on July 15, 1606, and of humble origins, he achieved success at a very young age, being considered the most sought-after – and expensive – artist of the region in his time.

Although the final years of his life were difficult, especially in a financial sense, his reputation as a great artist endured throughout his life and continues to this day.

Rembrandt’s work, composed mainly of religious subjects and portraits, is one of the greatest legacies of the golden century of Dutch painting.

The disappearance – and reappearance – of some of his works.

A curious fact, however, also marks Rembrandt’s production: the disappearance – and reappearance – of some of his works.


Read here the article about the work Storm on the Sea of Galilee that was taken and remains missing.

A different ending had the work Saint Luke the Evangelist, which had been stolen inorganize an exhibition art curating art curatorship 1979, in the Castle Cini di Monselice, in Northern Italy.

As time went by and with technology, a database of cultural goods missing due to theft was created.

So the piece was taken to an auction house by the collector who bought it and was unaware of its origin.

The Italian police were able to intervene and it was returned to the Como Foundation after 35 years of disappearance.

Some works are also found by chance.

In 2012, the canvas The Old Rabbi was authenticated by Ernst van de Wetering, a leading expert on Rembrandt’s work.

It was in Woburn Abbey, the residence of the Dukes of Bedford, who, despite having a huge collection of artworks, were surprised by the discovery.

A little more curious was the discovery of the painting The Unconscious Sick, from 1624.

It was found in the basement (that’s right, the basement!) of a house in the United States.

The painting is part of the painter’s early works and was found by accident while cleaning the house.

So it was sold without any idea that it was an authentic Rembrandt.

Put up for auction, the gallery Talabardon & Gautier bought the painting for one million dollars.

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Recently, in the first half of 2018, a painting auctioned for 148,000 euros from 1634 was also recognized as a work by Rembrandt.

Portrait of a Young Man was purchased in 2016 by art expert Jan Six during an auction at Christie’s.

Upon seeing it, Six was certain it was a work by the Dutch painter.

After the purchase, the work underwent analysis and the expert had not been wrong: the painting had been produced by Rembrandt.

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Because he was such a prolific artist, it is natural that we may still see other similar news soon – and it is good to pay attention to the walls at home, isn’t it?

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