Old masters: Antwerp identifies lost Rembrandt
6 August 2009
"The painting has been there since 1886, but it is only now that the Royal Museum of Fine Arts of Antwerp is 100% sure: the portrait of Eleazar Swalmius is an authentic Rembrandt." So leads De Morgen's culture page. The painting of the preacher, which had been part of a collection belonging to Louis XIV's brother, the Duke of Orléans, was bought by the museum for 200,000 francs (the equivalent of 5,000 euros). For many years it was attributed to Govert Flinck, another painter of the period, and at one point was even placed in storage. An anonymous Dutch businessman financed the recent restoration, which removed several layers of yellowed varnish to reveal "a magnificent and dazzling work." Fresh evidence from x-rays, and more research on the signature and the threads used in the canvas have left no doubt about its authenticity. Dutch art historian and Rembrandt expert Ernst van de Wetering explains that "the freedom in the structuring of the image, the manner of painting and the temperament are typically Rembrandt."