Broadcaster and art historian, Andrew Graham-Dixon, presents us with a very special and early work of Rembrandt van Rijn, The Adoration of the Kings. This monochrome palette nocturne painting of a key biblical scene is a major rediscovery, following a three-year programme of scientific examination and first-hand inspections by leading Rembrandt scholars, re-established as a work by the Master.
Infrared imaging reveals numerous changes in the composition as Rembrandt worked and reworked the scene, using a sharp point, possibly an etcher's burin, to bring out the full potential of this challenging subject with the complexity of the light, involved nature of the composition, and size of the kings' entourage. In this ambitious work, Rembrandt strives to be able to truly express the extraordinary nature of this moment.
This greatly significant work of Rembrandt's early career is being offered as the top lot of the Old Master & 19th Century Paintings Evening Auction, taking place at Sotheby's London on 6 December, as part of Masters Week London/Paris.