Rembrandt's `Titus' comes to D.C. on loan

April 22, 2007|By Suzanne Muchnic | Suzanne Muchnic,Los Angeles Times

Forty-two years after Rembrandt's Portrait of a Boy in Fancy Dress, or Titus, made an appearance in Washington, D.C., the painting will return to the National Gallery of Art to launch a series of loan exchanges with the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena, Calif.

The portrait -- which appeared on the cover of Time magazine and in the gallery in 1965, after Simon purchased it -- will be on view in the nation's capital from May 11 to Sept. 4. It can be seen at the Simon museum through May 6.

Future loans are under discussion; the Simon is expected to send a major work to Washington every other year and bring a National Gallery piece of equal quality to Pasadena on alternate years.

"We want to make people in other parts of the country aware of what we have here," said Walter W. Timoshuk, Simon Museum president, who initiated the program with National Gallery Director Earl A. Powell. "We also want to bring to the West Coast some great masterpieces that have never been here and that people might not have the opportunity to see otherwise."

The Rembrandt has "a great story attached to it," said Arthur K. Wheelock Jr., curator of Northern Baroque painting at the National Gallery. Painted, but left unfinished, around 1655, the portrait has been known as "Titus" because it was thought to portray the artist's son by that name. Research indicates that the sitter is not Titus, but another unidentified boy.

Suzanne Muchnic writes for the Los Angeles Times.

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