An advanced bit of X-ray technology has found a self-portrait of Rembrandt hidden under the master painters own painting ‘The old man with the beard’. Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn was a Dutch painter and one of the greatest to ever use a paint brush, he was born on the 15th of July 1606 and died on 4th October 1969.
Dutch Golden Age
The artists achievements in the art world came at a time when there was great wealth, many historians refer to this period of time as the ‘Dutch Golden Age’.
A painting not thought to have existed was found under an oil painting using the latest X-ray technology. It appears to be unfinished, being fainter than what would have been expected. What is does do is dispel any doubt that over whether the picture is the 17-century Dutch masters.
Art historians have become excited over the find, a monochrome sketch. Since the 1960s many had simply ignored that painting as an imitation and therefore to the art world the discovery holds a certain weight.
The announcement of the news was carried out by an international consortium of scientists and art historians who descended on the Rembrandt House Museum in Amsterdam, it is here that the picture has been kept on loan from a private collection.
Skeptics and doubters of the painting have included top specialists at the Rembrandt Research Project in Amsterdam. However, there is now unquestionable evidence which shows the origins of the sketch.
Ernst van de Wetering, head of project and emeritus professor of art history at the University of Amsterdam, has stated that the stylistic and feature similarities of the self portrait to the Old Man and two other paintings from the 1630s.
The posture, hairstyle, white collar and beret was what van de Wetering was basing his decision on and he went on to say that these elements characterised the many self-portraits the artist had completed of himself during the earlier years.
Painting, etching and drawing himself 80 times
The artists self-portraits are among the greatest of his accomplishments, painting, etching and drawing himself 80 times. A small proportion of his paintings were commissioned, but he had worked on them for his own satisfaction. They are marvelous pieces of work because they are a powerful study of human emotion.
At present know one is sure as to why Rembrandt didn’t finish the painting, maybe he just forgot and as such it remained accidently behind that painting. Alternatively, maybe he just had enough it.