Shalom Life | September 18, 2014

'The Old Rabbi', An Authenticated Rembrandt to be Displayed

"The Old Rabbi" is considered to be one of an intended pair.

By: Sarah Bauder

Published: March 28th, 2012 in Culture » Society » News

'The Old Rabbi', An Authenticated Rembrandt to be Displayed
A painting of a pensive older man that has hung in a private room of Woburn Abbey in Bedfordshire, England, has been deemed a bona fide Rembrandt. Known as “The Old Rabbi”, the oil painting is the property of the current Duke of Bedford, and has resided in the private apartments of Woburn since 1950.

"This is a discovery and a fine addition to the abbey's wonderful collection of Dutch art. We are very excited about bringing this exquisite painting into the public eye, especially since visitors will be able to get within a few inches of it," said general manager Jonathan Irby.


"We were all so excited at the expert verdict – the Duke was absolutely cock-a-hoop," said Chris Gravett, curator at Woburn Abbey.

Gravett had been intrigued by the work, and contacted one of the leading authorities on Rembrandt, Ernst van de Wetering, to examine the picture. After spending a day at Woburn studying the painting, van de Wetering (who is also chairman of the Amsterdam-based Rembrandt Research Project) concluded that the hand of the Dutch master painted the work. He also believes that “The Old Rabbi”, and a portrait of Rembrandt’s wife, Saskia, at the Gemäldegalerie in Berlin, are a pair intended to represent the biblical tale of the exiled Ruth, who married Boaz.

"The Old Rabbi" will go on public exhibition at Woburn Abbey this week.

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