Carol Vogel fingers Steve Wynn in the New York Times as the buyer of last week’s portrait painted by Rembrandt being sold by Barbara Johnson:
When reached by telephone on Thursday, he said only: “I’m not discussing it, I’m not acknowledging my paintings anymore.” The day of the auction, however, Mr. Wynn called several old-master dealers and Rembrandt scholars to ask their opinion of the work, “Portrait of a Man, Half-Length, With His Arms Akimbo” (1658), experts said.
He ended up being the only bidder. But others were interested in it, too. Otto Naumann, a Manhattan dealer, and Alfred Bader, an art investor from Milwaukee, were prepared to buy it together and were willing to go as high as $40.3 million. Christie’s had given the men extended terms that would give them at least six months to pay.
“The day of the sale Christie’s withdrew the terms,” Mr. Naumann said. “They told us we would not be allowed to collect the painting until it had been paid in full.” So the men decided not to bid.
Stephen Wynn Paid Record Price for a Rembrandt (Bloomberg)