Painting identified as Rembrandt portrait

LONDON — A painting donated to Britain’s National Trust by the estate of a wealthy supporter has been identified as a Rembrandt self-portrait worth $30 million.

The painting was given to the trust in 2010 by the estate of Edna, Lady Samuel of Wych Cross, whose husband was a collector of Dutch and Flemish art. It hangs in Buckland Abbey in England, the former home of 16th-century seafarer Francis Drake.

The portrait of the artist wearing a cap with a large white feather was thought to have been done by one of Rembrandt’s pupils and was credited as in the “style of” the 17th-century Dutch master.

But the National Trust said an investigation led by Ernst van de Wetering, the leading Rembrandt expert, had determined it was by Rembrandt himself. Van de Wetering said researchers in 1968 had concluded the painting, with Rembrandt’s signature and dated 1635 when the artist was 29, was likely by a pupil.

“But over the past 45 years we have gathered far more knowledge about Rembrandt’s self-portraits and the fluctuations in his style,” he said.

He said the crude brushwork and technique are observed in other paintings from the early stage of Rembrandt’s career.

N.Y. museum shows Audubon watercolors

NEW YORK — The New-York Historical Society is exhibiting its entire collection of 474 bird watercolors by John James Audubon for the first time. They’re being shown chronologically in three exhibitions over three years. The first group is on view.

The collection includes 435 watercolors engraved for Audubon’s monumental “The Birds of America.” An original edition of Audubon’s book, known as the double elephant folio, is also being shown. The first exhibition ends May 19.

Krauthammer’s book coming out in fall

A collection of writings by Charles Kraut-hammer, the conservative commentator and Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist, will come out this fall.

Crown Forum, conservative imprint of Random House, said it will publish Krauthammer’s “Things That Matter: Three Decades of Passions, Pastimes, and Politics.” Krauthammer’s columns for The Washington Post won a Pulitzer in 1987. His work is syndicated in more than 300 newspapers, including The Post and Courier.

MGM plans new Bond ‘within three years’

MGM Studios plans to send James Bond on his next mission, announcing that it hopes to have the next installment of the popular spy series in theaters within the next three years.

An MGM executive said the studio is developing the screenplay for the next Bond film. Star Daniel Craig is signed for two more films.

Wire reports