A newly unearthed Rembrandt painting is set to be shown in the UK for the first time at an exhibition in Oxford.
The biblical painting, rediscovered by Dutch art dealer Jan Six in 2016, is thought to be dated back to the 1620s and labelled under a list of paintings in Rembrandt’s collection known as his ‘juvenalia’.
While the painting had been known for years prior to its rediscovery, researchers and experts believed that ‘Let the Little Children Come to Me’ was not an original Rembrandt. However, when dealer Six began its restoration of the work they found a great deal of overpainting had been applied over the years and, when they removed it, the true origins of the work was revealed.
Having paid €1.5million for the painting, investors attempted to keep the discovery secret before it was revealed to the public at the opening of a Rembrandt exhibition at the Museum De Lakenhal in Leiden. Now, with its legitimacy confirmed, the painting will be shown in the UK for the first time in a wide-ranging show at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford.
“In his early paintings, prints and drawings we find a young artist exploring his own style, grappling with technical difficulties and making mistakes.” Christopher Brown, a co-curator of the show explained to The Guardian.” But his progress is remarkable and the works in this exhibition demonstrate an amazing development from year to year.”