Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum is willing to pay €165m to buy a work by Rembrandt from the French Rothschild banking family, the NRC said on Tuesday, quoting French art historian Didier Rykner.
The paper says the French government has now given French museums three months to buy the painting known as The Standard Bearer which was put up for sale by its present owners in July 2018.
If France is unwilling to buy the work, which dates from 1636, the Rijksmuseum will put up the money, said Rykner who accuses the French authorities of doing ‘nothing’ about the offer for the past nine months.
Rykner has written about the issue in his own magazine La tribune de l’art. In 2014, another member of the Rothschild family agreed to sell the Rembrandt wedding portraits Marten & Oopjen to the Rijksmuseum but there was a subsequent row about the export licence and the Dutch and French states eventually bought the works together.
The NRC said the Rijksmuseum has declined to react to the prospective new buy. ‘A purchase is not on the cards because there is no export permit,’ a spokesman told the NRC.
Image: Part of The Standard Bearer by Rembrandt