Saturday, February 25, 2006

New Article: Two genuine Rembrandt paintings found in Copenhagen.

The National Gallery in Copenhagen found two genuine Rembrandt paintings by the master himself in their archives.
paintings that have lived a life of obscurity in the collections at the National Gallery after having been rejected as genuine Rembrandts at different points during the 20th century.

Below you can study the two reattributed Rembrandts.

Study of an Old Man in Profile, c. 1630
approximately 20 x 25 cm - that's 8" x 10"
oil on canvas
Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-69)

You must click on the painting. I have made a large image available, so that you can enjoy it yourself.
The small Study of an Old Man in Profile is find made by Karl Madsen at Fredensborg Castle, where he discovered the painting in a storage in 1899. However, Rembrandt scholars doubted this attribution from as far back as 1933 onwards. Their doubts were mainly caused by the coarse style of painting. The scholars of the time found it difficult to reconcile this coarseness with what they thought of as the typically very meticulous and carefully finished style of Rembrandt's early works. Recent art history has, however, pointed out that even during the earliest stage of his career - the years spent painting in his native town of Leiden - Rembrandt experimented with broader and more varied brushstrokes. Like other works by the young Rembrandt, this small painting appears to be a practice piece. X-ray studies bear out this theory by showing us that the old man's head was painted on top of another head that appears in several of Rembrandt's paintings from those years. At the same time, studies of the wooden panel show that the wood can be traced back to Rembrandt in terms of both geography and time.

The Crusader, c.1659-61
approximately 60 x 80 cm - that's 23" x 31"
oil on canvas
Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-69)

You must click on the painting. I have made a large image available, so that you can enjoy it yourself.

In 1911 the Rembrandt connoisseur and then director of The National Gallery, Karl Madsen, found The Crusader in a remote corner of Fredensborg Castle where it had been placed in temporary storage. Despite Karl Madsen's evident enthusiasm for the painting, its status was soon called into question, and in 1969 it was rejected as a Rembrandt. The most recent studies now tell us that the painting is a sketch for The Knight with the Falcon (Göteborgs Konstmuseum). X-rays support this assumption by demonstrating that the underlying layers of paint are built up in a manner typical of Rembrandt. The piece presumably depicts the Dutch Saint Bavo, and the painting has the convincing oscillation between the precise and the spontaneous that is so typical of Rembrandt. At the same time it exemplifies the pastose manner of painting characteristic of the artist's late work. There are, however, some signs to suggest that parts of the painting were done by one of Rembrandt's students, a common practice at the master's workshop.

my Article on this.


Asbjorn Lonvig
Lille Fejringhus
43 Fejringhusvej
8722 Hedensted
Denmark on art, design etc. on writing, lecturing etc.

Photos: By SMK Foto

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