Etching hanging beneath Dutch woman's stairs identified as a Rembrandt
For ten years Ied van der Mersch had an etching she inherited from her father hanging under the stairs, only to recently find out that it was made by none other than Dutch master Rembrandt van Rijn. "Really stupid," she said on television program Jinek. "My father was always reasonably convinced that it was a Rembrandt. For some reason, I didn't have that feeling."
Van der Mersch took the etching to television program Tussen Kunst & Kitsch - "Simply under the arm in a bag from Albert Heijn," she said - where art connoisseur Bas Hesselink identified the work.
"Based on the paper, the watermark and comparison with reproductions, I know for sure that it is a rare Rembrandt," Hesselink said to RTL Nieuws. "Paper was very expensive at the time. The print of this etching was probably printed ten times on one sheet. The watermark on the paper proves that it is the first series of prints."
According to Hesselink, the paper used dates from 1640. "The etching was therefore still printed during the life of Rembrandt himself. That means that it is impossible that someone else imitated it."
Hesselink is not allowed to say anything about the the value of the work until the episode of Tussen Kunst & Kitsch broadcasted. "But I can say that it is much rarer than other etchings by Rembrandt. It is the only print of this image made while he was still alive," he said to the broadcaster.
De ets is gedrukt tijdens het leven van grootmeester Rembrandt zelf. https://t.co/EyoizpY8Et— RTL Nieuws (@RTLnieuws) March 3, 2020