AMSTERDAM, Netherlands (AP) -- The auction house thought the portrait was a 17th- century Rembrandt knockoff, and valued it at just $3,100. But the British buyer who paid about 1,500 times more than that apparently knew what he was doing.
Experts have confirmed 'Rembrandt Laughing' -- bought for a bargain price of $4.5 million at an English auction house in October -- is a self-portrait by the Dutch master Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-1669) himself, depicted with his head tilted back in easygoing laughter.
William Noortman, from Noortman Master Paintings, specializing in Dutch and Flemish masters, said it's worth $30 million to $40 million, adding: 'I'm very surprised it didn't make more at auction.'
The 9 1/2-inch-by-6 1/2-inch painting will hang in the Rembrandt House Museum in Amsterdam through June 29, on loan from the anonymous Briton who bought it at the auction by Moore, Allen and Innocent in Gloucestershire and had it cleaned and examined by British experts.
Art expert Jan Six from another auction house, Sotheby's, declined to put a new value on the painting.
Text and image by THonline.com