Netherlands to buy Rembrandt Standard Bearer self-portrait

The Netherlands government says it is planning to buy an iconic self-portrait of the 17th Century Dutch artist Rembrandt van Rijn.

It is seeking parliamentary approval for the purchase of the Standard Bearer, a work seen as hugely important for Dutch culture and history, reports BBC.

The 1636 masterpiece has been owned by private collectors including the Rothschilds for centuries.

It will go on tour before being displayed in Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum.

“The Standard Bearer is coming home for good after a journey of several centuries,” Culture Minister Ingrid van Engelshoven said in a statement.

The government is setting aside €150m (£129m; $170m) for the painting, while the museum’s fund will add a further €10m and the Rembrandt Association €15m.

The painting shows Rembrandt in the costume of a standard bearer who led troops into battle in the Eighty Years War, which culminated in the independence of the Netherlands in 1648.

It was shown at an exhibition at the Rijksmuseum in 2019.

The Standard Bearer has been owned by a French branch of the Rothschild family since 1844, and France has declared it a national treasure.

The Netherlands decided to make the purchase after the French state waived its right to buy the painting and allowed a sale on the open market.

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