Recognising the strength and international nature of the Old Master market and the wide-reaching appeal of works of this outstanding quality, the Collection, led by the Rembrandt, will tour the world in advance of the sale, travelling from Doha, Moscow and New York to Hong Kong and Amsterdam before the auction in London.
Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn (1606-1669) is recognised to be one of the greatest and most influential artists in European history. This remarkable panel by the artist, A Bust of a Man in a Gorget and Cap, dated to 1626/27, captivates the viewer with an intensity that far exceeds its neat dimensions; it measures 15⅝ x 11⅝ inches (39.8 x 29.4cm) (estimate: £8 million -12 million). The work presents a masterful treatment of light to create drama, achieved in part by Rembrandt’s use of chiaroscuro, pointing to the influence of Caravaggio, to whom he is clearly indebted in terms of style in this work. Beautifully preserved and richly painted, the artist employs a subtle range of rich colours; the sharp light falling on the steel of the gorget imbues the subject with a startling reality and presence. This work was exhibited in the Rembrandt/Caravaggio exhibition staged by The Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, in 2006.
Christie’s has an unrivalled track record with Rembrandt, having sold the two most valuable works to have been offered at auction: Man with Arms Akimbo, in 2009 (£20,201,250/$33,210,855) and Portrait of an Aeltje Uylenburgh from the Collection of Baroness Batsheva de Rothschild in 2000 (£19,803,750 /$28,675,830).