Friday, June 12, 2015

Disputed Painting Is Declared an Authentic Rembrandt

THE HAGUE — The painting was sliced down the middle and straight through its center in the 19th century, probably to be sold as two Rembrandt portraits. At some point in the next 40 years, it was sutured back together with pieces of an entirely different canvas, and layered with paint to cover up its scars.

In 1898, the director of the Mauritshuis Royal Picture Gallery here proudly displayed it in the museum as “Saul and David,” one of Rembrandt’s most important biblical works. Then in 1969, a top Rembrandt authority discredited the painting, and for years it hung next to a label that read, “Rembrandt and/or Studio,” a serious demotion.