Update on the top 10 most expensive paintings in the world and their prices 2017

7. Pendant portraits of Maerten Soolmans and Oopjen Coppit ($182 million for pair)

expensive paintings

The Pendant portraits of Marten Soolmans and Oopjen Coppit are a pair of full-length wedding portraits by Rembrandt. Formerly owned by the Rothschild family, they became jointly owned by the Louvre Museum and the Rijksmuseum in 2015 after both museums managed to contribute half of the purchase price of €160 million, a record for works by Rembrandt.

The portraits were painted by Rembrandt upon the occasion of the wedding of Marten Soolmans and Oopjen Coppit in 1634. Although the subjects were painted individually, the portraits have been kept together since their inception. Unlike many 17th-century portrait pairs, these two have always hung side by side in various collections based in Amsterdam or Paris. They are also unusual in Rembrandt’s oeuvre for their size and the fact that they show the subjects at full length. Appearing in period inventories at regular intervals since their creation, together they form part of Rembrandt’s core oeuvre against which other paintings with a more questionable lineage are compared. The subjects Marten Soolmans and his wife Oopjen Coppit are dressed as befits a pair of wealthy Amsterdam newlyweds. Though most in the art world agree these paintings should remain together, it became impossible for France to keep them within its borders, as the Louvre was unable to guarantee the necessary funding required to keep the ministry of culture from providing an export permit. The paintings have not been declared French national heritage.

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