TribLIVE

| USWorld


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Rembrandt portrait work of master, not pupil, tests reveal

Daily Photo Galleries

By The Associated Press
Wednesday, June 11, 2014, 12:01 a.m.
 

LONDON — Scientific tests have confirmed that a painting donated to Britain's National Trust by a wealthy supporter is a Rembrandt self-portrait worth tens of millions of dollars, the heritage body said on Tuesday.

The portrait of the artist, wearing a cap with a white feather, was long thought to be the work of one of Rembrandt's pupils and was credited as in the “style of” the 17th-century Dutch master.

But last year Ernst van de Wetering, the world's leading Rembrandt expert, declared it genuine. The National Trust said tests on the paint, the signature and the wooden panel all confirm the authenticity of the portrait, painted in 1635, when Rembrandt was 29.

Cambridge University experts analyzed the cell structure of the wooden panel the portrait is painted on — poplar or willow, a type Rembrandt favored — and used X-rays to reveal changes to the composition over time, also typical of the artist. The pigments, including blue mineral azurite and blue cobalt, were consistent with those used by Rembrandt.

‘‘The varnish was so yellow that it was difficult to see how beautifully the portrait had been painted,” said David Taylor, paintings and sculpture curator at the National Trust. “Now you can really see all the flesh tones and other colors, as well as the way in which the paint has been handled — it's now much easier to appreciate it as a Rembrandt.”

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

The painting has been valued at as much as $50 million — but the trust, whose mandate is to safeguard Britain's heritage, is not allowed to sell it.

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read World

  1. Russia sends unauthorized convoy into Ukraine
  2. Chinese jet buzzes Navy aircraft, Pentagon says
  3. Witnesses recount secret July raid to free journalist at ISIS base in Syria
  4. Gaza militants kill 18 alleged spies for Israel
  5. Interpol probes Thailand’s ‘Baby Factory’
  6. 18 accused spies executed by Gaza terrorists
  7. Islamic State’s carnage spreads as Yazidis slain
  8. Mideast crisis goes ‘from bad to worse’ as truce shatters
  9. Chinese cultists on trial in eatery murder
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.