School of Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn (1606-1669)

A bearded old Man, small bust length

School of Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn (1606-1669)
A bearded old Man, small bust length
oil on oval panel (originally rectangular) with a 5cm. addition along the lower edge
9 x 7.3/8in. (23.5 x 18.6cm.)
F. Gavazzeni, Milan.
with Newhouse Galleries, New York, as Rembrandt, from whom purchased by the present owner in 1958.
K. Bauch, Der Fr Rembrandt und seine Zeit. Studien zur geschichtlichen Bedeutung seines Frhstils, 1960, p. 173, fig. 153, p. 261, note 130 as Rembrandt 'ein mindestens erheblich besseres Exemplar'.
K. Bauch, Rembrandt Gemlde, 1966, p. 344 as 'a deftly painted copy, the best of various versions'.
J. Bruyn, B. Haak, S.H. Levie, P.J.J. van Thiel, E. van der Wetering, A Corpus of Rembrandt Paintings, I, 1982, p. 597, under no. C25, copies '...the best of various versions'.
Giuseppe Longhi, circa 1800 (as with a signature and date 'Remb.f./1639.' in the left background).

Lot Essay

The present work is based on the Bust of an Old Man in the Museum der Bildenden Knste, Leipzig, Inv. no. 804. Recorded by the Rembrandt Research Committee as by an artist in Rembrandt's circle (possibly Paulus Lesire), that painting is dated to circa 1633, the same year in which the Dordrecht engraver Hendrik Dethier's etching of this figure, which he attributed to Rembrandt, was printed. This work and the present painting, in turn, paraphrase the figure of Saint Paul in Saint Paul at his writing-desk of circa 1629-30 in the Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nuremberg, Inv. no. 392, dated by the Rembrandt Research Committee to 1629-30.