Essay: The Man with the Golden Helmet

Can it be? Rembrandt's The Man with the Golden Helmet, one of the most famous and most majestic portraits ever painted, now turns out to be not by Rembrandt at all. It is not a fake or a forgery, says Jan Kelch, curator of Dutch and Flemish paintings in West Berlin's Staatliche Museum, but rather "an independent original in its own right, with its own independent worth." But what is its independent worth if Rembrandt's masterpiece is not by Rembrandt? Though people who estimate such things promptly lowered its theoretical value from 20 million marks ($8 million) to about one-twentieth of...

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