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Buckland Abbey in Devon, U.K. has been the home of a portrait of Dutch master Rembrandt that was believed to be by one of his students, and therefore not all that special. However, it turns out that it was a self-portrait and that it could be worth an estimated £20 million.
According to The U.K. Independent, the painting has been hanging in the former home of Sir Francis Drake for the past three years without garnering any attention. Ernst van de Wetering, the most respected Rembrandt expert in the world, has officially attributed it to Rembrandt himself. It features the artist at 29 in 1635 and now joins the large collection of other self-portraits he made.
The National Trust now owns the painting, after it was given by the late Edna, Lady Samuel of Wych Cross in 2010, reports The Telegraph. Since 1968, the art world has assumed that it was by one of Rembrandt’s students. But van de Wetering was skeptical, and recently X-rayed the painting and used other tests to determine otherwise.
“It’s amazing to think we might’ve had an actual Rembrandt hanging here for the past couple of years,” National Trust property manager Jez McDermott said. “We never dared think that it might actually be an original and many of our visitors will have just passed by it, in what is sure to be a real contrast to the attention it is now going to receive.”
The National Trust has a collection of 13,500 paintings and the Rembrandt will remain on display for a time, before more tests are conducted.