Share
News

What Museum Believed Was Rembrandt Clone Turned Out To Be Nearly 400-Year-Old Real Thing

Share

Thanks to modern technology and some expert detective work, a nearly 400-year-old painting that had long been attributed to an unknown artist in Rembrandt’s workshop has now been judged to have been a work of the Dutch master himself.

For decades, the Allentown Art Museum displayed an oil-on-oak panel painting called “Portrait of a Young Woman” and credited it to “Studio of Rembrandt.”

Two years ago, the painting was sent to New York University for conservation and cleaning.

There, conservators began removing layers of overpainting and dark, thick varnish that had been added over centuries — and they began to suspect Rembrandt himself was responsible for the original, delicate brushwork underneath.

Trending:
'Holiday Nightmare Comes True' When Man Makes Strange Discovery in a Ravine on His Property

“Our painting had numerous layers of varnish and that really obscured what you could see of the original brushwork, as well as the original color,” Elaine Mehalakes, vice president of curatorial affairs at the Allentown Art Museum, said.

Conservators used a variety of tools, including X-ray, infrared and electron microscopy, to bolster the case that it was the work of one of the most important and revered artists in history.

The scientific analysis “showed brushwork, and a liveliness to that brushwork, that is quite consistent with other works by Rembrandt,” said Shan Kuang, a conservator at New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts who restored “Portrait of a Young Woman.”

Outside experts who examined the 1632 painting after the completion of its two-year restoration concurred with the NYU assessment that it’s an authentic Rembrandt.

“We’re very thrilled and excited,” Mehalakes said. “The painting has this incredible glow to it now that it just didn’t have before. You can really connect with the portrait in the way I think the artist meant you to.”

When “Portrait of a Young Woman” was bequeathed to the museum in 1961, it was considered to be a Rembrandt.

About a decade later, a group of experts determined that it had been painted by one of his assistants.

Such changes in attribution are not unusual: Over the centuries, as many as 688 and as few as 265 paintings have been credited to the artist, according to Mehalakes.

Related:
Even Students Are Outraged After Catholic School Makes Woke Change to Jesus in Legendary Painting

The museum has not had the painting appraised — and has no intention of selling it — but authenticated works by Rembrandt have fetched tens of millions of dollars.

The painting, currently in the museum’s vault, will go on public display starting June 7.

The Western Journal has reviewed this Associated Press story and may have altered it prior to publication to ensure that it meets our editorial standards.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →



We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

Tags:
, ,
Share
The Associated Press is an independent, not-for-profit news cooperative headquartered in New York City. Their teams in over 100 countries tell the world’s stories, from breaking news to investigative reporting. They provide content and services to help engage audiences worldwide, working with companies of all types, from broadcasters to brands.
The Associated Press was the first private sector organization in the U.S. to operate on a national scale. Over the past 170 years, they have been first to inform the world of many of history's most important moments, from the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the bombing of Pearl Harbor to the fall of the Shah of Iran and the death of Pope John Paul.

Today, they operate in 263 locations in more than 100 countries relaying breaking news, covering war and conflict and producing enterprise reports that tell the world's stories.
Location
New York City




Conversation

Notice: Due to threatened de-monetization, we have temporarily removed commenting while we build a long-term commenting solution that allows you to voice your opinion freely and allows us to continue to publish the news fearlessly and cover topics that you care about. If you would like to personally partner with The Western Journal to help us continue publishing while under relentless assault by Big Tech, please visit our subscription page here. We encourage you to share this article and discuss with your friends.