‘It is, in a certain way, a mysterious painting: the portrait of Anna Wijmer—the wife of Jean Six, the mother of the first Jan Six—hanging in one of the upper rooms. It dates back to 1641 and is from Rembrandt's hand. Anna looks strikingly young for a woman in her mid-fifties, only a few strands of grey hair are visible from under her white bonnet.
One morning, when I dropped by [the building which is a private museum on the River Amstel], there was a mood of exhilaration around the kitchen table. The Swedish art photographer Margareta Svensson was visiting; having come to take pictures of the Rembrandts hanging there. These were high-tech photographs: any bigger and sharper probably wasn’t possible. And yes, the back of the work had to be documented in exactly the same way. After every fibre of Anna Wijmer’s being was photographed, the painting was turned around for more.
You see: Anna Wijmer isn’t painted on canvas but on a very heavy wooden panel—which didn’t make the process any easier. But once Anna was hanging again, this expert photographer with her ultra-sharp cameras, which don’t miss a thing, made a surprising discovery: the saw cut at the bottom looked a bit different than the other three sides. So, had the Anna Wijmer painting been cut down to size, and by Rembrandt himself: to transform a standing portrait into a seated one? The painting’s restorer, Laurent Sozzani, already suspected as much—at certain spots under the old varnish layer a lot had been corrected and retouched—but now there was certainty.’
Geert Mak, The Lives of Jan Six - A Family History (Amsterdam / Antwerp 2016) pp. 19-20. more info
‘Grandiose, we can’t thank you enough. We’re delighted! Hope to see you again soon!’ . . . ‘the novelty is starting to wear off, still I can’t stop telling you how fabulous it looks, really super’ . . . ‘The Vanitas painting with such gorgeous details. Amazing! Once again great results. I’m so happy with the large [digital] files; it really enhances the details! The footage looks fabulous—as always!’
Susanna Koenig, head of exhibition management, Frans Hals Museum, Haarlem
‘Margareta, you’re one-of-a-kind! Everything at its best, not a single mistake in the nomenclature and the images look great—although made under particularly suboptimal conditions and in a great hurry. This isn’t the way we normally like to do things, but wonderful that it all came together. I couldn’t be more pleased. THANKS!’
Christi Klinkert, curator, Stedelijk Museum Alkmaar
‘Stunning photo of you. What a beautiful, intense look, while at the same time quite gentleThis lady is a master at shooting a close-up . . . impressive. What a pleasure that someone taking such personal photos, can put you so at ease.’