To the Director of the Hermitage,

ArtWatch International and many students of the Art Students League of New York write this letter of gratitude to you after having seen Rembrandt’s amazing painting, “Portrait of Baertje Martens” c.1640. The preservation of this painting is a delight to those of us who recognize Rembrandt’s style of delicate glazing.

Many of us realize that the Rembrandt paintings exhibited at the Frick Collection and the Metropolitan Museum of Art once were in the radiant condition, as were many in the National Galleries in Washington, D.C., and London. We applaud such effort and the manner in which you have preserved your exhaustive collection of European paintings. It is possible to study the fine craftsmanship of master artists, such as Rembrandt, and to see the lost art of glazing in a Rembrandt such as yours.

Many harmful restorative efforts have gone on unopposed throughout the international art world, destroying the brilliant stylistic effects which still linger in the “Portrait of Baertje Martens”. It is a pleasure to see that there is still a safe haven for the world’s master paintings.