MARY REICHARD, HOST: For decades, Pennsylvania’s Allentown Art Museum has displayed a nearly 400-year-old knockoff of a famous Rembrandt masterpiece—an oil-and-oak panel painting called “Portrait of a Young Woman.”
Allentown Art Museum’s Elaine Mehalakes told WCAU tv…
MEHALAKES: When it was examined in 1970 it was downgraded to being made in Rembrandt’s studio but not by the artist himself.
A few years ago, the museum sent the painting to New York University for cleaning. For many months, cleaners carefully removed layers of overpainting and thick varnish added over the centuries.
As the original brushwork was revealed, they began to suspect that there’d been a mistake.
Modern technology—X-ray, infrared—led them to conclude that Rembrandt himself painted the portrait.
MEHALAKES: They were able to see now the original brush strokes and compare those to other paintings that are known to be Rembrandt.
Rembrandt paintings have fetched tens of millions of dollars. But the museum has no intention to sell it.
You can see the newly authenticated Rembrandt at Allentown’s art museum starting in June.
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