Copyists, collectors and curators: Rembrandt’s modern-day heirs

Jan Six X next to his family’s Rembrandt portrait of an ancestor (©FD)

Hundreds of years after he lived, the painter Rembrandt continues to affect the lives of people in our own century. In every generation, there are people who study his work, trade in it and try to imitate or learn from his work. In this programme, the guests include an artist who decided to spend ten years painting copies of Rembrandt’s works, and we hear from a descendant of one of the artist’s most important patrons, whose family still owns the largest number of Rembrandts in private hands.

How safe is it to sell or buy a Rembrandt, even a mere print? After all, Rembrandt’s work has been closely scrutinised and authenticated by the Rembrandt Research Project, and the ethical provenance of a work of art has become a major consideration.

Producer: Marijke van der Meer

Broadcast: July 2006