TribLIVE

| USWorld


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

Rembrandt portrait work of master, not pupil, tests reveal

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

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.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read World

  1. Quake-aid need acute in Nepal; death toll passes 4,000
  2. Japan Prime Minister Abe to highlight trade, defense ties with U.S. in speech before Congress
  3. British Prime Minister Cameron defends royal couple’s private medical care choice
  4. Employees of Mercer County-based manufacturer among missing in Nepal
  5. Airstrikes hit capital as fighting escalates in Yemen
  6. Israel thwarts terrorist attack
  7. United States aided rebels in Caucasus, Russian President Putin claims
  8. Intense aftershocks rattle Nepal
  9. Mexicans pin hopes on anti-corruption measures approved by Congress
  10. Aftershocks terrify survivors of quake in Nepal that killed 2,500
  11. Senior officials are toppled in China’s anti-graft campaign