January 18, 2006

Danish Rembrandts upgraded

Copenhagen's National Gallery has said two of its paintings that were previously believed to be fake Rembrandts were actual works by the Dutch master.
Once again, the press gets it wrong. There is a huge difference between a "fake" (something designed to deceive), a work "in the style of" (artists have tried out other artists' styles for centuries), and a work by one of the artist's students or followers. You can safely bet that nine times out of ten, when the headlines talk about "fake" Old Masters, they really mean something belonging to one of the last two categories.
International art experts had reevaluated 10 canvases that bear Rembrandt's signature, but were kept in storage facilities for years because they were believed to be copies made by his students.

The five experts concluded that two of the paintings were done by Rembrandt himself, museum director Allis Helleland said on Wednesday. . .

"The Crusader," measuring 79 centimeters by 65 centimeters (31 inches by 26 inches) is a sketch on canvas for painting "The Knight with the Falcon" that now hangs at the Goteborg Museum of Art in Sweden. The smaller "Old Man in Profile" is 20 centimeters by 16 centimeters (8 inches by 6.3 inches) and is a practice piece on oak wood.

Both paintings had been off display for decades. From CNN.

Posted by David on January 18, 2006 9:35 AM


If a painting has value because it is a work of art or craft, or value because of its antiquity, who cares if it's in the style of or created in the school of the master or just a copy?

On the other hand, if it's ugly, gauche and repulsive, who cares if it's called "art"? It ain't.

Posted by: Sarah on January 19, 2006 7:52 PM
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