connoisseurship

A London Summer with Huntley Dent

Rembrandt in London: Close Examination: Fakes, Mistakes and Discoveries at the National Gallery

Fortune and men’s eyes. Rembrandt, like Beethoven, has had the good fortune of familiarity breeding deeper admiration. Contempt was never a possibility. The same can’t be said for Raphael and Rubens, who have suffered scorn — and still do — interspersed with worship. But there has never been a masterpiece by Beethoven that was later attributed to a much lesser composer like Czerny or Spohr, while this happens regularly to Rembrandt. London is one of the great storehouses of Rembrandt paintings, along with New York and Amsterdam, and one can find works here that were lauded in the past but now are relegated to Gerard Dou (who?) or Jan Lievens (never heard of him). Among art experts both are respectable craftsmen, perhaps far better than that, but footnotes to a footnote when it comes to a titan like Rembrandt.
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