A Rembrandt masterpiece is expected to fetch up to £25 million ($41 million) when it goes under the hammer at Christie’s on December 8, 2009.

The painting could break the record price for a Rembrandt, which currently stands at £19,800,000 paid for Portrait Of A Lady Aged 62, in December 2003.

The painting, titled “Portrait of a man, half-length, with his arms akimbo,” was painted in 1658 and has been unseen in public for nearly 40 years.

Measuring 42 inches by 34 inches, the portrait shows an unknown subject standing facing the viewer in a defiant pose with his hands on his hips.

The painting being offered by a private collector at Christie’s in London was once a part of personal antiquities sold by the legendary painter to avoid bankruptcy.

The last time it was sold at auction was in 1930 when it fetched 18,500 pounds, or today’s equivalent of nearly six million pounds.

The work displays the artist’s much celebrated chiaroscuro technique; application of brushstrokes and clever use of light and shade to give his subjects a physical presence and psychological character.

Source: Telegraph - Bornrich - Reuters

Photo: AP