The 3ft 4in x 2ft 5in (1.01m x 74cm) oil on canvas was bought by Dutch art dealer Jan Six – a descendant of a sitter with the same name featured in another Rembrandt portrait – together with an anonymous investor.
Estimated at £15,000-£20,000, it sold at £137,000 (including premium) as Six secured it against competition from a number of other Old Master specialists.
He told ATG that the quality of details, such as the way the lace ruff was painted, demonstrated “a level of competence” that none of Rembrandt’s great students, like Flinck and Bol, ever reached.
A large number of experts have now endorsed the Rembrandt attribution including Ernst van de Wetering, the former head of the Rembrandt Research Project and a leading authority on the artist, who described the work as “one of Rembrandt’s most masterly portraits”.
The work is now for sale but Six would not disclose the selling price.