New Rembrandt painting discovered

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The painting Old Man with a Beard is the work of Rembrandt, say scientists. Up until now, it wasn’t certain who the artist was, but advanced scientific techniques show the Dutch master painted it around 1630.

Professor Koen Janssens of the University of Antwerp, in collaboration with Dutch and US colleagues, discovered an unfinished self-portrait of Rembrandt under the panel during a technical investigation.

Using X-ray Fluorescence Spectrometry, the scientists were able to map the different chemical elements present in the paint, revealing different views of the concealed portrait.

No detail is visible in the face, but experts say it matches a reproduction from 1633 that has an inscription saying it was painted by Rembrandt.

Art historian and Rembrandt expert Ernst van de Wetering said there were key technical similarities in painting style between the self-portrait and works by Rembrandt that were painted around the 1630s.

Van de Wetering leads the Rembrandt Research Project, which was set up in 1968 to investigate Rembrandt van Rijn’s oeuvre. Under the projects, works like Tobias and his Wife or a portrait of Eleazar Swelmius are considered authenticated works by Rembrandt.

Old Man with a Beard panel is owned by a private collector, who has given permission to have the work of art displayed at an exhibition on the research between 1 May and 1 July.  

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