Rembrandt: The Quicker Picker Upper
For a moment of good news, or at least interesting news, from the WaPo…
Soon after becoming president of Catholic University, the Very Rev. David M. O’Connell went in search of paper towels in his bathroom cabinet. Something on the bottom shelf caught his eye. Under a pile of junk, he found an old frame.
In the frame was a tiny etching of an old man with an unruly beard and billowing hat, composed of thousands of fine lines. His eyes are tired. His head nods toward his chest.
The piece is signed “Rembrandt.”
O’Connell added the etching to his personal art collection and showed it off to visitors. A dozen years passed, and he never investigated whether the etching was truly created by the famous 17th-century Dutch painter and printmaker Rembrandt Van Rijn.
Then about a year ago, he called the university’s archivist to his home and presented her with the mystery.
You can imagine where it goes. Not exactly the Caravaggio found in the Dublin dining room of the Jesuits. Then again, Father O’Connell departs next year. Who knows what his successor will find when he goes looking for…