ALLENTOWN, Pa. (AP) — Many thanks to modern-day engineering and some expert detective get the job done, a just about 400-yr-outdated portray that experienced lengthy been attributed to an unfamiliar artist in Rembrandt’s workshop has now been judged to have been a work of the Dutch grasp himself.
For many years, the Allentown Art Museum displayed an oil-on-oak panel painting identified as “Portrait of a Young Woman” and credited it to “Studio of Rembrandt.” Two decades ago, the portray was sent to New York University for conservation and cleansing.
There, conservators began eliminating layers of overpainting and darkish, thick varnish that had been added around hundreds of years — and they began to suspect Rembrandt himself was accountable for the original, delicate brushwork underneath.
“Our portray experienced quite a few layers of varnish and that definitely obscured what you could see of the authentic brushwork, as well as the authentic coloration,” explained Elaine Mehalakes, vice president of curatorial affairs at the Allentown Artwork Museum.
Conservators used a wide range of instruments, such as X-ray, infrared and electron microscopy, to bolster the scenario that it was the work of 1 of the most important and revered artists in record.
The scientific evaluation “showed brushwork, and a liveliness to that brushwork, that is pretty reliable with other is effective by Rembrandt,” mentioned Shan Kuang, a conservator at New York University’s Institute of High-quality Arts who restored “Portrait of a Young Woman.”
Outside industry experts who examined the 1632 painting after the completion of its two-year restoration concurred with the NYU assessment that it is an genuine Rembrandt.
“We’re very thrilled and psyched,” Mehalakes reported. “The painting has this unbelievable glow to it now that it just didn’t have just before. You can seriously hook up with the portrait in the way I think the artist intended you to.”
When “Portrait of a Youthful Woman” was bequeathed to the museum in 1961, it was viewed as to be a Rembrandt. About a decade later on, a team of professionals established that it experienced been painted by one particular of his assistants. These types of variations in attribution are not unusual: In excess of the centuries, as a lot of as 688 and as couple as 265 paintings have been credited to the artist, in accordance to Mehalakes.
The museum has not had the painting appraised — and has no intention of advertising it — but authenticated works by Rembrandt have fetched tens of hundreds of thousands of pounds.
The portray, currently in the museum’s vault, will go on general public screen commencing June 7.
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