Rijksmuseum closes in on €160 million deal for two Rembrandts

Brother and Sister of the Night Watch
Rembrandt portraits of Maerten Soolmans and Oopjen Coppit (Pictures: Wikimedia Commons/artyzm.com/www.wga.hu). (Rembrandt portraits of Maerten Soolmans and Oopjen Coppit (Pictures: Wikimedia Commons/artyzm.com/www.wga.hu))

The Rijksmuseum may soon be the proud owner of two world famous Rembrandt works - portraits of Maerten Soolmans and Oopjen Coppit. According to Wim Pijbes, director of the Museum, they are "well into the process" of raising the 160 million euros needed to make a "serious bid" on the two portraits.

Pijbes said this to BNR on Monday. The two paintings by the French Rothschild family.

"We hope to get the amount, 160 million euros, together with as many people as possible, but I can not reveal too much about it yet", Pijbes said.

The paintings were in Dutch possession until they were sold to Gustave de Rothschild in 1877. "The Netherlands held a kind of sale then, unfortunately. Much went abroad at that time and occasionally the works end up on the market." Pijbes explained to the radio station, adding that the Rijksmuseum then makes a serious effort to get the works back.

According to the director, Rembrandt was at the top of his game when he made the Maerten Soolmans and Oopjen Coppit portraits. "At the time of these worked Rembrandt had just come from Leiden to Amsterdam to capture the elite in portraits. He captured this young couple phenomenally at full length, as it is known in the art."

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