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Rembrandt Redux

The Story

Published by Authorhouse

Author Notes

This book contains several Dutch and German words and in those cases where the text doesn’t offer immediate clarification, these words as well as historically relevant facts are necessary to understand the story. I refer to Brit milah as the Jewish ceremony of male circumcision and to the Strafprozeßordnung as the German code of criminal procedure. A few locations merit explanation such as Damrak which is a famous street in Amsterdam where ships moored on the canal at the dam while Gracht is a typical referral to a canal in Dutch cities. The Oude Kerk is the Old Church which was built in the heart of Amsterdam in 1250 and was originally called the Church of St. Nicolas. A new church was built around 1400 near the Dam. Finally, as matter of historical correction, De Sortie is the name Rembrandt titled his large painting representing a captain and his guardsmen ready to leave on an inspection. Later it became known as the Night Watch, a misnomer since the light in the painting belies daylight from above.

Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (1606-1669) regularly painted for Prince Frederik Hendrik of Holland. One of such commissioned paintings, The Circumcision of Christ, symbolized the covenant of the Old Testament.
In 1756 the painting no longer appeared on the list of artworks owned by the Dutch royal descendants, and it was believed burned in a a caste fire. If it did survive however, the Nazis would have stolen it during WWII. When art dealer Tom Ardens buys a painting at a tag sale and believes it to be the lost painting, he decides to sell it to solve his financial woes. His claim warrants a thorough authentication by the Rembrandt Research Project. Regardless of the outcome of the investigation, infamous German criminal Fritz Schroller gets in the way of Tom Arden's plan to sell it, and the battle is on, jeopardizing a possible windfall for the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and Christie's auction.