Image via Cologne Police
The old adage about one man’s trash being another’s treasure couldn’t be truer, as two 17th-century paintings possibly worth thousands were picked up from a dumpster at a highway rest stop in southeast Germany last month.
The Cologne police department is appealing to the public for knowledge about “who knows the paintings shown and/or how they got into the dumpster at the service area.” The oil paintings were retrieved by a 64-year-old man, who was taking a breather from driving, from the garbage of a rest stop near Ohrenbach on May 18 at around 4 pm. He collected the artworks and handed them to the police.
An initial examination from an expert concluded the framed pieces as original 17th-century paintings, CNN reports.
— Polizei NRW K (@polizei_nrw_k) June 18, 2021
One of the paintings, a self-portrait of the mustachioed Italian portrait artist Pietro Bellotti, is believed to have been from 1665. Bellotti would paint for esteemed families in “Venice and beyond,” per Switzerland’s Galleria Canesso.
Artnet News reveals that a “very similar” version of the painting, entitled Self-Portrait of the Artist as Laughter, was put up for auction at Christie’s London in 2006, with an estimate selling price of US$55,000 to US$91,000, while another copy was slated to go under the hammer at Bonhams London for US$29,000 to US$44,000 in 2008. However, both paintings did not sell. It’s worth noting that the highest paid for a Belloti is US$190,000, though.
The other painting, depicting a boy in a red cap, is attributed to Dutch painter and writer Samuel van Hoogstraten, though the year it was created remains unknown.
You’d notice that Van Hoogstraten’s art style is similar to Rembrandt’s, and that’s because he was a student of the Old Master. Given his first-hand learning experience with the Dutch painter, Van Hoogstraten’s writings have been deemed a “valuable source of information about Rembrandt’s views on painting” by the UK’s National Gallery. The record price for a Van Hoogstraten is US$788,000, Artnet News reports.[via Artnet News and CNN, images via Cologne Police] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/414413/Two-17th-Century-Paintings-Have-Been-Found-In-A-Rest-Stop-Dumpster/