This double portrait by Rembrandt, made in 1634, became famous in 2015. The two paintings depict Maerten Soolmans and Oopjen Coppit, who had themselves painted by Rembrandt on the occasion of their marriage.
The paintings are symbolic of the rich 17th century in Holland. The paintings were very large, and their portraits are at full length - something which was normally restricted to the nobility, and Maerten and Oopjen were 'just' ordinary civilians. This may be seen as a new, strong self-confidence of the rising merchant class.
The painting were put on the market by the then owner Eric de Rothshild. After some (legal and financial) confusion between France and the Netherlands, it was decided that the paintings would be bought jointly by the Netherlands and France. The Netherlands will become owner of the portrait of Maarten, France of Oopjen's portrait.
Part of the agreement is that the paintings will always remain together.
In February 2016 it became known that the paintings would be restored in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.
They will be exhibited together in the Louvre in Paris, and in the Rijksmuseum, for periods of (eventually) 8 years.
Maarten Soolmans, by Rembrandt, 1634
Oopjen Coppit, by Rembrandt, 1634