Rijksmuseum will "go to extremes" to acquire Rembrandt painting
Rijksmuseum director Taco Dibbits will "go to extremes" to acquire Rembrandt's 1636 painting De Vaandeldrager for the Netherlands when the work appears on the market.
On Tuesday, it was announced that the work might go up for sale after the French government decided not to buy it from its current owner, the Rothschild family. It is not yet clear whether and when the work will go on sale.
According to Dibbits, De Vaandeldrager, or The Standard Bearer in English, is Rembrandt's most important work that is still in private possession. This is the last chance to buy a painting of this enormous importance. "It is a unique work that belongs to the top 10 of his oeuvre. The self-portrait is, in fact, his artistic breakthrough in the run-up to The Night Watch. It is deeply rooted in Dutch culture and history and symbolizes the rebelliousness of the painter and his country."
The value of the work was estimated at 165 million euros in 2019 when it was temporarily on display in the Rijksmuseum for the Rembrandt-Velázquez exhibition. The Rijksmuseum does not have that money. Dibbits calls on the government and art world to put their heads together. "We have to do everything we can to get this painting in The Netherlands. It is essential for our country," says Dibbits.
According to the director, it will not be easy to get the work. He estimates that there will be at least ten very serious privateers on the coast who would also like to buy the work.
Reporting by ANP.