Shorto’s longform article has it all: unearthed Rembrandt paintings worth millions of dollars, a misunderstood aristocrat redeeming himself (or maybe not), and of course, merciless backbiting, double-dealing, and intrigue amongst the art world’s elite. The story begins with Jan Six XI, a middle-aged Amsterdam-based art dealer who’s made quite an incredible discovery. While perusing the Christie’s auction catalog in November 2016, Six discovers a portrait attributed to a painter in the “circle of Rembrandt” – but Six is convinced a mistake has been made, and that the painting was actually painted by the Dutch master himself. The story rockets forward from there, with the extra tantalizing revelation that the original Jan Six, for whom current-day Six is named, was not only a friend of Rembrandt, but has been forever captured in Rembrandt’s well-known Portrait of Jan Six.
— Clare Boerigter