Published On: Fri, May 6th, 2016

How a long-lost Rembrandt painting found its way to the Getty Museum

The Unconscious Patient (An Allegory of Smell), 1624, resurfaced at auction last year and is one of a series of paintings depicting the five senses. It will be exhibited with the “Senses” Hearing and Touch for the first time in three centuries.

Lost Rembrandt painting sense found - photo source Getty Museum - 100


When the small painting with a slightly damaged surface and cracks in its wood backing materialized in September at an auction house in New Jersey, no one expected great things.

First and foremost was its murky provenance: The name of the artist was unknown, and so was the date of its creation. The auction house estimated that the work would sell for $500 to $800.

“We had no idea when it came up to sale that there were about to be fireworks, ” said John Nye, who runs the Bloomfield, N.J.-based Nye and Co.

In a matter of months, the seemingly unremarkable painting would become the talk of the international art world after it was judged to be a long-lost work by the 17th century Dutch master Rembrandt van Rijn.

The Getty will be the first museum to exhibit the recovered painting, which disappeared from public view for centuries and was given up as lost to history.

Read the full story at L.ATimes, by David Ng

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