Ernst van de Wetering; one of the world’s leading experts on Rembrandt has published his latest findings in the sixth edition of the Rembrandt Research Project, in which the expert has re-attributed 70 paintings as the work of the great Dutch painter, reports the Wall Street Journal. Ernst van de Wetering is the only remaining member of the Rembrandt Research Project, which is said to be the organization’s final volume. It was founded in 1968 by a group of Rembrandt experts. In a statement van de Wetering says, he’s out to correct some decisions that he feels his peers got wrong.
The latest additions bring the total number of surviving paintings attributed to Rembrandt to 340 pictures, this is an increase from less than 300 pieces considered to be the artist’s work since the 1980s. But the number still lower that the 714 paintings thought to be by the Dutch master in the 1920s, many of which were excluded after consideration by the Rembrandt Research Project.
This is the third volume on which van de Wetering has worked alone. The art expert has Forty-four pieces that the Rembrandt Research Project previously stripped of their attribution to the Dutch master reinstated. Speaking to WSJ about the inclusion of the works, van de Wetering explained that the group made previous decisions on a democratic basis which he considers an ‘unjust’ process – the art expert says “There was a tendency to say no to paintings” in the project’s early years, “and that tendency was too strong.”
One of the most prominent changes made by van de Wetering is the inclusion of ‘Portrait of a Man’ (1658) which is in the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art’s collection but is currently not on display. The painting was originally considered to be from the school or style of Rembrandt and not by the master himself. The painting is also known as ‘The Auctioneer’.
The curator of European Paintings for the Metropolitan Museum Walter Liedtke spoke WSJ concerning the change of categorisation and has stated that he doesn’t expect that his museum’s view on the painting will change.
“The scholarly consensus in the world very much remains that this painting is not by Rembrandt, and that has been the consensus for 30 years,” It seems the curator remains unconvinced.