Deals and Desires in The World of Dutch Golden Age Fans

Elizabeth Lowry at the TLS:

Oeke Hoogendijk’s riveting documentary highlights the peculiar tendency among private collectors and public curators of Rembrandt’s portraits to talk about his canvases as if they were living people. For the serious devotee Rembrandt appears to be a sort of Rorschach test, revealing a capacity for ardour, or envy; for candour, or duplicity – or for ecstatic belief. In Amsterdam, the boyish art dealer Jan Six – a direct descendant of the seventeenth-century cloth merchant immortalized by Rembrandt – is convinced that he’s spotted not just one, but two undiscovered works by the painter. Six has been trying all his life to live up to his family legacy. The Sixes are part of Amsterdam’s aristocracy; in every generation so far since Rembrandt painted them, a Jan Six has been produced to be the keeper of the family flame and the custodian of its priceless art collection. The tenth Jan Six, the rather dour Baron Jan Six van Hillegom, still presides over the Six house on the Herengracht with its treasure trove, but the eleventh Six is snapping at his heels. He has an art historian’s training, and a relentless desire to prove himself.

more here.