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
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
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.