Noura Al Kaabi is Guest of Honour at Rembrandt’s rare masterpiece private unveiling at Sotheby’s

DUBAI, 9th October, 2018 (WAM) — Sotheby’s Dubai has hosted Noura Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development, as their Guest of Honour yesterday evening (Monday) at their private view of a rare masterpiece by Rembrandt, one of the greatest artists in Western art history. The minister unveiled the painting alongside Sotheby’s Chairman for the Middle East, Edward Gibbs, and Head of Sotheby’s Dubai, Katia Nounou.

It is the first time that the rare painting, which dates from circa 1655 and until recently hung in the artist’s home in Amsterdam, has been shown in the Middle East. It will be on view to the Dubai public at Sotheby’s Dubai in DIFC today and tomorrow.

Noura Al Kaabi said, “We are pleased to witness the unveiling of Rembrandt’s masterpiece in the UAE, which is now recognised as a hub of all genres of art from classical to contemporary. In the UAE, we continuously promote culture exchange and dialogue and appreciate the depth and history of painters from the Dutch Golden Age as much as we do our innovative conceptual artists from the region. The magic is when we, especially our young aspiring artists, find inspiration and beauty in what all cultures bring to the world.”

Edward Gibbs said, “Over the course of decades working with collectors in the region, and the past year with our new gallery space in Dubai, we have found that our clients in the UAE and the wider Middle East have a deep appreciation for forging links between the very best of the old and the new – largely thanks to a rich cultural history. The unveiling of this exceptional Old Master painting alongside masterpieces of classical Islamic art and captivating artworks by leading Arab painters speaks to the universal nature and timeless appeal of great works of art.”

Katia Nounou said, “We would like to extend our gratitude to Noura Al Kaabi for joining us at Sotheby’s Dubai for the unveiling of the Rembrandt. The UAE has a strong commitment to bolstering and supporting the growth of its unique and blossoming art scene, one that we share, and we strongly welcome the opportunity to develop this appreciation through the exchange of ideas and open dialogue on diverse aspects of art.”

Study of the Head of a Young Man is a little-known masterpiece by Rembrandt. It is one of a small series of informal but intensely moving studies painted by Rembrandt of the same young man, probably from the neighbourhood in Amsterdam where the artist lived. The works in the series have been dated from 1648 and 1656.

Revered among the great masters of the Dutch Golden Age – a period of great wealth and cultural achievement in the Netherlands in the 17th century – Rembrandt was a prolific painter, draughtsman and etcher whose ingenuity inspired some of the most celebrated European artists of the 17th to the 19th centuries, from Giovanni Battista Tiepolo to Vincent van Gogh. Highly coveted, many of his masterpieces form the highlights of some of the greatest private and public art collections in the world, including those of The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, The National Gallery in London and the Royal Collection of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Study of the Head of a Young Man is estimated to fetch in the region of USD $6 million when it is offered for sale at Sotheby’s in London in December.

Bringing together worldwide highlights from Sotheby’s international auction calendar spanning the forthcoming season, the Sotheby’s Dubai exhibition also stars highly sought-after works by celebrated artists from the region, including Shafic Abboud, Munira Al Kazi and Abdulrahman Al Soliman. These are displayed alongside myriad rare pieces of historical importance from the Islamic World and a selection of magnificent jewellery with royal provenance.

Sotheby’s Dubai was officially launched by the global auction house in March 2017 under the Royal Patronage of Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance, the then Minister of Culture & Knowledge Development. The gallery and office space is located at Level 1, Gate Village Building 3, Dubai International Financial Centre, UAE. The company hosts a programme of year-round events, including selling and non-selling exhibitions, events and talks reflecting the spectrum of Sotheby’s international sales and extensive client services.

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