Six Rembrandts donated to settle £150k IHT bill

Six etchings by Dutch master Rembrandt have been given to the Ulster Museum in Belfast as a result of a deal over an outstanding tax bill, the first works by the artist to be acquired by a Northern Ireland museum

The works were given Arts Council England under the acceptance in lieu scheme, which allows taxpayers to transfer important works of art and heritage objects into public ownership while paying inheritance tax (IHT). They formed part of an agreement to settle an IHT bill of over £150,000.

Ulster Museum has already put two of the etching it has received as a result of the tax settlement on display in its current exhibition dedicated to landscape painting. These are Six’s Bridge and The Adoration of the Shepherds.

The etchings date from the 1630s to the 1650s. The other four works – Bearded Man in a Furred Cap and Robe; The Artist’s Mother; The Sleeping Herdsman; and The Descent from the Cross by Torchlight – are four due to be exhibited at the venue soon as part of a planned exhibition on Rembrandt and his influence on printmaking.

Kathryn Thomson, chief executive of National Museums NI, said: ‘This gift immeasurably transforms the Ulster Museum collection, as these are the first works by Rembrandt to enter a public collection in Northern Ireland.

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