It’s very likely some kind of professional deformation if you only have eyes for jewellery when looking at the biggest acquisition in fine art in years. That’s exactly what happened to us when we first say pictures of the wedding portraits of Maerten Soolmans and his wife en Oopjes Coppit, painted in 1634 by Rembrandt.
Looking at the way Maerten (20 years old) is dressed, the exuberant white rosettes on his shoes are probably the most striking feature. (Not jewellery but shoewellery…) Oopjen is wearing an abundance of pearls, like the four string necklace with an attached chain and pendant diamond ring.
After four months of negotiations (i.a. who is going to restore the portraits) the Dutch and French governments agreed to a joint purchase and paid the asking price of €160 million.
Specialists in the Rijksmuseum will perform the restoration. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean the portraits will be on show in Amsterdam any time soon. We’ll have to exercise patience before we stand eye to eye with the (jewellery in the) life size portraits.
text: Isabella van den Bos