Dutch scientists identify painting as a Rembrandt

Mon Dec 5, 2011 5:56am EST
 
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AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - A painting known as "Old man with a beard" has been identified as a Rembrandt work thanks to the discovery of a hidden image underneath the paint.

The painting, owned by a private collector, shows the head of an elderly man with tufts of white hair and a white beard.

Professor Joris Dik from Delft University of Technology told Reuters that x-ray techniques had revealed a very rough unfinished self-portrait by the artist underneath the image of the old man.

Ernst van de Wetering, a Dutch expert on Rembrandt, said that the painting was done using a technique very similar to that used by Rembrandt when he lived in Leiden in 1630.

He said an identical image of the old man appeared in a reproduction dating from 1633 with an inscription stating that it was made by Rembrandt -- further evidence that the painting itself was by Rembrandt.

The painting will go on loan to the Rembrandthuis, Rembrandt's former house and studio in Amsterdam, and will be on show from May to July next year.

(Reporting By Liza Jansen, editing by Paul Casciato)