'Fake' Rembrandt a Real $40M Self-Portrait

Auction house valued it at $3,100
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 19, 2008 3:05 AM CDT
The 1628 self-portrait "Rembrandt Laughing," once thought the work of an imitator, has been confirmed as genuine and worth $40 million.   (AP Photo/ Rembrandt House Museum, ho)
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(Newser) – A self-portrait formerly considered a Rembrandt knockoff has been deemed a genuine early work of the Dutch master—and valued at $40 million. Rembrandt Laughing, executed on a small copper plate, was examined by Holland's leading Rembrandt experts. A British art collector purchased the work late last year for $4.5 million from an auction house that had appraised it at $3,100.

"It has an incredible presence," said a Rembrandt authority. "The light has the most natural quality you can think of—and I love the naturalness of the laughing."