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Most Valuable Paintings in Private Hands

Rembrandt van Rijn
“Portrait of Jan Six”, 1654
oil on canvas, 112 x 102 cm.
Six Foundation, Amsterdam

Not only the most important work by Rembrandt still in private hands, but also one of the best portraits from the Dutch Golden Era. In the 1650s Rembrandt created some of his most accomplished masterpieces, such as “Aristotle with a Bust of Homer” (1653, Metropolitan Museum) or “A Woman Bathing in a Stream” (1654, National Gallery).

Caravaggio
“Conversion of Saint Paul”, 1600
oil on cypress wood, 237 x 189 cm.
Odescalchi Balbi Collection, Rome

This work is one of two paintings by Caravaggio of the same subject, commissioned by Cardinal Cerasi. The large painting was created in 1600, the same year in which Caravaggio completed one of his undisputed masterpieces, “The Calling of Saint Matthew”. Impressive in size and quality of painting, this work ranks among the most important religious scenes by Caravaggio.

Hans Holbein the Younger
“The Madonna With the Family of Mayor Meyer (The Darmstadt Madonna)”, c.1525-8
Oil on panel, 146.5 x 102 cm.
Reinhold Würth collection, Germany

This monumental painted is arguably the most important religious scene ever created by Holbein. The work was commissioned by the Bürgermeister of Basel Jakob Meyer zum Hasen, who opposed the Reformation

Diego Velázquez
“Prince Baltasar Carlos on horseback”, 1636
oil on canvas, 144 x 91 cm.
Duke of Westminster collection

Diego Velázquez´s “Prince Baltasar Carlos on horseback” has all the magnificence you can expect in a great baroque painting. It is a very good Velázquez, arguably his only masterpiece still in private hands, and it could be the centerpiece of any major museum able to persuade the Duke of Westminster to sell it

Leonardo da Vinci (attributed to)
“Salvator Mundi”, c-1500-1510
oil on wood, 65.6 x 45.4 cm.
Private collection, New York

Leonardo da Vinci is known to have painted a “Salvator Mundi” for King Louis XII of France. Considered lost by art experts for decades, one of its alleged “copies” was acquired by a group of art dealers in 2005, and reattributed (NOT unanimously) to Leonardo. In late 2011, this work was included in the exhibition “Leonardo da Vinci: Painter at the Court of Milan” at the National Gallery of London.