The Gemäldegalerie in Berlin has recently discovered that the famous Rembrandt painting of a Mennonite pastor and his wife has been hanging upside down for the past four centuries.
“I’m not sure how this error occurred, but we found diary entries and early sketches that clearly indicate the painting was intended to be displayed the other way around,” said gallery curator Ida Fuchs. “We can’t say for sure of course, but we think this may be Rembrandt’s commentary on the state of the Mennonite church at the time. No wonder he never joined.”
The painting, however, will remain in its current state, being too fragile to reposition.
“We will be offering to hoist visitors to the rafters and hang them by their feet so they can get a good look at the painting the way Rembrandt intended,” said Fuchs. “We’re also offering a German audioguide that’s played backwards … so, basically Plautdietsch.”
The news comes as dozens of works of art from Piet Mondrian to Wanda Koop have been discovered to be displayed incorrectly.
“This Rembrandt painting is just the tip of the iceberg,” said Koop. “I don’t know how often I’ve seen my work in a gallery and had to go and flip it around the right way.”
In an effort to address this global problem, the North Kildonan MB Church will be sending a team of highly trained volunteers to straighten out any crooked Wanda Koop paintings or even family photos that need a bit of help.