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The discovery that upended Jan Six’s life occurred one day in November 2016. Six is a 40-year-old Dutch art dealer based in Amsterdam, who attracted worldwide attention last year with the news that he had unearthed a previously unknown painting by Rembrandt, the most revered of Dutch masters — the first unknown Rembrandt to come to light in 42 years. The find didn’t come about from scouring remote churches or picking through the attics of European country houses, but rather, as Six described it to me last May, while he was going through his mail. He had just taken his two small children to school (in true Dutch fashion, by bicycle: one seated between the handlebars and the other in back). The typical weather for the season, raw wind and spitting rain, would never deter a real Amsterdammer from mounting his bike — and Six’s roots in the city go about as deep as possible — but by the time he arrived at his office, he was feeling the effects. Waterkoud (“water cold”) is the Dutch word for the chilly dampness of the Low Countries that seeps into the bones.

The antidote to that feeling is encompassed in another word. Gezelligheid, loosely translated as coziness, is the condition people in the Netherlands strive for in the interiors of their homes. It’s often what’s being depicted and celebrated in old-master canvases from the Golden Age of the 17th century, the era that is Six’s specialty: warm domestic scenes, merry companies hoisting tankards, still lifes of tables laden with food. Six’s office, on the ground floor of a building on the Herengracht, one of the city’s main canals — a canal that Rembrandt himself used to stroll — has its share of gezelligheid. The building dates from the early 1600s. Ancient beams cross the ceiling. The views out of the windows are of bicyclists racing by and the evocative, ever-somber surface of the canal reflecting the gabled facades of the buildings on the opposite side.

To read more on The New York Times:

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/27/magazine/rembrandt-jan-six.html

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