INTERNATIONAL auctioneers, Sotheby’s, have confirmed that a drawing by Gauguin, a Toulouse-Lautrec lithograph and a carving by Rembrandt – all donated to Faro Câmara by the diplomat Amadeu Ferreira de Almeida – are 100 per cent genuine, according to the Portuguese media.
These valuable works of art were among an estate of 1,200 items bequeathed to the municipality back in 1944, which is also reported to include paintings by Renoir. Apparently, there are also two oil paintings that could also be by Rembrandt – a self portrait of the artist and a portrait of the painter Lieven van Coppenol – included within the collection. The authenticity of these paintings is currently being studied in Amsterdam by specialists at the Rembrandt Research Project.
Some of the paintings donated were on display at Faro’s Municipal Museum between 1979 and 1998. They were then transferred to a special room for safe conservation and to be studied by the Faculty of Social and Human Sciences of the Algarve University. At the end of next month, they are expected to be sent to the Instituto Português de Conservação e Restauro in Lisbon for a final evaluation to be carried out.
Art specialist, André Bento, has been studying the collection since May and has been able to confirm the authenticity of some of the pieces. “There is a charcoal drawing on paper by the French impressionist, Paul Gauguin (1848-1903), that is dated 1875 and, after analysis of the signature, I am in no doubt as to its legitimacy,” claimed Bento. He has also studied the signature on the lithograph by French impressionist Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901) and believes it to be genuine, along with a carving entitled ‘Beggars receiving charity at a house door’, dated and signed by Rembrandt.
The value of the discovered masterpieces has not yet been announced.The Resident contacted Faro Câmara and it was confirmed that the art is being protected by a sophisticated 24-hour electronic security system. A spokesman also confirmed that it is the intention for the works of art to remain in Faro, in order to enrich the patrimony of the Algarve region, and also out of respect for the wishes of the donator.