By order of 9 April 2019, Franck Riester, Minister of Culture, decided to classify The Standard Bearer of Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-1669) national treasury, after the opinion in favour of a refusal of export certificate issued by the Advisory Commission on National Treasures (CCTN).
Considered one of the artist’s most emblematic works, this exceptional master painting is one of the most important still preserved in a private French collection. Present on the national territory since the XIXe This ambitious composition in a prestigious private collection, after having belonged in particular to the King of England, George IV, reveals the masterful manner of the painter, then thirty years old and reached a peak of his art. It is a standard-bearer, depicted from profile to mid-body and staring proudly at the spectator in a martial attitude. In the XVIIe These standard-bearers, whose collective or individual portraits are known, were entrusted with symbolic functions and had to avoid dropping into enemy hands the ensign of which they had custody.
Endowed with an unprecedented monumental force, created in particular by vivid chiaroscuro effects, in a range of colors dominated by browns, golds and greys, this painting, no doubt in reality less a portrait than a figure of fantasy, is an essential work of Rembrandt’s production and for the painting of the Dutch Golden Century, whose departure from the territory would constitute a serious loss for the national heritage.
For all these reasons, the TNCC considered this table to be a national treasure.
The decree of the Minister of Culture opens a period of 30 months during which the work cannot leave the national territory definitively. During this period, the State will endeavour to find ways of acquiring it.