Last year, a painting went to auction in New Jersey that was dated somewhere in the 19th century. The painting was labeled as the work of an unknown artist from Europe’s “Continental School,” and had a presale estimate of $500-$800.
French art dealer Bertrand Gautier thought the small oil-on-panel painting with three figures was older, and believed he knew who painted it: Dutch master Rembrandt van Rijn.
Unfortunately for Gautier and his partner Bertrand Talabardon, another dealer had the same belief. In a few minutes of phone bidding, the price shot up, and in the end the Paris gallery owners paid just over $1 million, including the buyer’s premium.
On March 10th of this year, the painting, now restored and considered a genuine Rembrandt dating from 1624-1625, was hung at the prestigious TEFAF art fair in the southern Dutch city of Maastricht.
(Video by the AP)