The story was too good to be true. It begins in a bar in the suburbs of Liège, in Belgium, there are more than ten years. A trader, who calls himself “Mr. Jo”, made the acquaintance of a man very indebted. He tells him his woes, propping on a counter top. The merchant, in the good samaritan, he offers to clear his debts. Grateful, the man ruined assures us: “I will never forget you”. It is this story that he tells in an interview with BFMTV. Then he proposes to “Mr Jo” to sell him a painting of which he is owner, subject to a ticket of 500 euros. The other, decidedly very generous, accept it.

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The new owner said that, on the advice of a friend, he decides to show this Ecce homo to two different experts. Still, according to his statements, the latter attribute the work to Rembrandt and consider its price to 30 million euros. It is only now, ten years later, the man would have decided to take out his treasure hypothetical of the trunk in which it was carefully kept for sale.

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The media manufactured after the death of Rembrandt

However, according to one of the two experts are supposed to have authenticated the table, this paternity is not established, far from it. The first study was carried out by a member of the belgian Chamber of experts in works of art, Baudoin Van He, who died in 2008. But this artist and collector does not have authority about the Dutch painter. The reference in the matter, the Rembrandt Research Project, is not mentioned at any time.

The second appraisal has been conducted by the royal Institute of artistic heritage, Brussels (IRPA). But this technical analysis was only on the dating of the painting in question. The dendrochronology of the support of the work, a process that enables the dating of wood by observing the growth rings of trees, was completed in 2007. According to Christina Currie of the royal Heritage Institute, the study “is the felling of the tree between 1676 and 1699, and, therefore, the table may have been painted early in the last quarter of the Seventeenth century”. Therefore, after the death of Rembrandt, in October 1669.

the possibility Remains that the work was painted by the Dutch masters and has been fixed on the wood support after the death of the latter, according to the technique of padding. But this assumption is deemed very unlikely by Pierre-Yves Kairis head of unit for Research in the history of the art and Inventory of the IRPA. “We receive almost daily requests for so-called masterpieces of Rembrandt and others,” he says. Most of the time this does nothing, but a few times, this makes the emergence of interesting works.”

According to Sudpresse , the owner of the work is planning to invest the money from the sale, if sale there was, in his favourite football club. In the meantime, the painting must undergo further analysis, which should provide additional clarification.