Albert B. Roberts paid $600 for an old painting of Saint Jerome. He would later resell it for $3.1 million.
The image, discovered in the late 1990s in a barn on a farm in Kinderhook, New York, is a study for a later work by the Flemish master Anton Van Dyck, called “Saint Jerome.” Now the canvas is stored in the Boijmans van Beuningen Museum in Rotterdam.
The sketch shows a naked,e elderly Saint Jerome sitting on a stool. It is considered unique for several reasons. Firstly, this is one of two large studies that Van Dyck made from live models. Secondly, the sketch dates from 1615-1618, when the young van Dyck worked with Rubens in Antwerp.
In 2019, art historian Susan J. Barnes published an article acknowledging the sketch of Saint Jerome as an oil painting by Van Dyck datable to around 1618. The painting was sold for $3.1 million in a Sotheby’s auction that took place on January 26, during the week of Master Paintings Part I. Part of the proceeds will go to the Albert B. Roberts Foundation, which helps artists and other charities.