11 December 2021, by Victoria Séveno

This week, the Netherlands’ offer to purchase one of Rembrandt’s most significant paintings, De Vaandeldrager, was accepted by the Rothschild family. 150 million euros has been allocated to fund the purchase.

The Netherlands successfully purchases De Vaandeldrager

On Wednesday morning, the Dutch government announced that the Netherlands was looking to purchase Rembrandt’s 1636 painting, De Vaandeldrager (“The Standard Bearer”), which had been privately owned by the Rothschild family since 1844. 

Calling De Vaandeldrager one of the Dutch painter’s “absolute masterpieces,” a government statement explained that the world was “inextricably linked” to the history of the Netherlands and allowed for the “artistic breakthrough” that led to Rembrandt’s De Nachtwacht (“The Night Watch”). 

By Wednesday evening, the Netherlands’ dream became a reality, with Ingrid van Engelshoven, the Dutch Minister of Culture, confirming that the Rothschilds had accepted an offer for 150 million euros. This marks the largest sum the government has ever paid for a single artwork.

Rembrandt’s masterpiece to return to the Rijksmuseum

The purchase of the De Vaandeldrager will be made through a combination of public and private funding, with The Rembrandt Association and the Rijksmuseum Fund providing 25 million euros. A further 19 million euros will come from the national museum purchase fund. 

The work last went on display as part of a temporary exhibition at the Rijksmuseum in 2019. Once the purchase has been completed, De Vaandeldrager will tour the Netherlands, visiting each of the 12 provinces, before joining the permanent collection at the Rijksmuseum where it will be given pride of place.

“With this joint purchase, we are making one of Rembrandt’s most beautiful works accessible to everyone,” Van Engelshoven said. “After a journey of centuries, De Vaandeldrager is now returning home for good.”

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