A rediscovered painting by Dutch artist Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn is on loan to the Toledo Museum of Art and will be on display starting Jan. 28 in Gallery 24. Rembrandt painted the small oil on copper self portrait, Rembrandt Laughing in his native city of Leiden when he was 21 or 22 years old.
A century and a half after his death, the portrait was mistakenly thought to be painted by his contemporary, Frans Hals and was reproduced as Hal's work in an engraving. Twentieth century scholars suspected that the reproduced work was Rembrandt, but could not make their case because the original was lost.
The painting reemerged in 2007 when an English family who owned it for a century elected to sell it. The painting was attributed to a "follower of Rembrandt," with an estimated value of $1,600 to $2,400. Art dealers recognized its quality and importance and drove the bidding up to its final sale price of $4.5 million.
The painting has been on display in Dallas and Denver over the last several months.
"This is one of the most exciting artistic rediscoveries in recent years," said Museum Director Brian Kennedy. "Rembrandt Laughing is one of the first and most enjoyable examples of the artist's autobiography in paint."