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Rembrandt van Rijn "Portrait of Marten Soolmans in oriental costume"

the subject work, oil on wooden panel, size 40 - 30 cm, 1632

A sample of the signature of Rembrandt van Rijn:

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About the artist

Rembrandt van Rijn  (1606-1669) -  a Dutch draughtsman, painter, and printmaker. An innovative and prolific master in three media, he is generally considered one of the greatest visual artists in the history of art and the most important in Dutch art history. Unlike most Dutch masters of the 17th century, Rembrandt's works depict a wide range of style and subject matter, from portraits and self-portraits to landscapes, genre scenes, allegorical and historical scenes, biblical and mythological themes as well as animal studies.

 

One of Rembrandt works, painting "The Unconscious Patient (An Allegory of the Sense of
Smell), about 1624,  in 2016 was sold at New Jersey auction for US $1.1 million.

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List of similar style works by Rembrandt:

on the image below - the painting «Portrait of Marten Soolmans»,1634 , 209.5 - 135.5 cm

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on the image below - the painting «Self-portrait in oriental attire with poodle», 1631, oil on panel, 52 x 66,5 cm, Musée du Petit Palais, Paris

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on the image below - the painting «Man in Oriental Costume ("The Noble Slav»)», 1632, oil on canvas,  Metropolitan Museum

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on the image below - the painting «Man in Oriental Costume», 98.5 x 74.5 cm, National Gallery of Art, Washington

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on the image below - the painting «Bust of a Man in Oriental Costume», 1633

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on the image below - the painting «David and Uriah», 127-116 cm

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on the image below - the painting «Self portrait», dated 1632, Glasgow (Scotland), The Burrell Collection

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Scope of the work:

Research of the subject work to determine whether the subject work is by Rembrandt van Rijn.

 

Contents:

1. Signature analysis
2. Analysis of the infrared spectrum
3. Analysis using terahertz equipment
4. Analysis in Ultraviolet light
5. Microscopic examination
6. Stylistic analysis
7. Analysis by black-and-white photos and sepia mode
8. Analysis using a color inversion filter

 

Signature analysis

Our experts took samples of the original signature of the artist Rembrandt van Rijn, followed by a comparative analysis of the signatures identified on the subject work.

Comparable signatures of Rembrandt van Rijn

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One of the most effective methods of examination is an infrared reflectography. With the help of a special infra-red radiation, which penetrates the upper layers of the examination object, we investigated the layer directly below the visible surface (the underlying layers are hidden).

This is particularly important for determining possible preliminary drawings under layers of paint or the signatures, inscriptions beneath the paintings. This method in combination with the terahertz equipment revealed the author's signature, presented on the images below.

Analysis was performed using a terahertz equipment (THz) to capture the internal structure of a work of art.

Teragertz images show features which can not be seen in the optical range or by using X-rays.

This is achieved by allowing the terahertz waves penetrate into the inner layers of paint.

Thus, the study revealed the hidden inscriptions (a signature and the year of the painting), are not detected by other means, such as optical, X-ray or infrared region of thespectrum. (For the study it was used a commercial THz system «Mini-Z» produced by Zomega Terahertsz Corporation, (USA).

 

on the image below - lower right corner of the painting (the location of signature indicated by the red rectangle) *image taken under normal light

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on the image below - enlarged area from above image revealed Rembrandt signature  «RHL van Rijn» [initials in monogram] / 1632»  at the lower right corner of the painting (the location indicated by the yellow rectangle)
in grey rectangle – sample of authentic Rembrandt signature

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on the image below - upper left corner of the backside of the painting (the location of signature indicated by the red rectangle)

*image taken under normal light

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on the image below - enlarged area from above image revealed Rembrandt signature  «Rembrandt»  (the location indicated by the yellow rectangle)
in white rectangle – sample of authentic Rembrandt signature

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on the image below — image taken under ultraviolet light revealed Rembrandt signature  «RHL van Rijn» [initials in monogram] / 1632»  at the lower right corner of the painting (the location indicated by the yellow rectangle)
in grey rectangle – sample of authentic Rembrandt signature

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on the image below - enlarged area from above image

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on the image below — image taken under red light

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on the image below — image taken under red light revealed Rembrandt signature  «Rembrandt» at the lower left corner of the painting (the location indicated by the yellow rectangle)
in white rectangle – sample of authentic Rembrandt signature

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on the image below — image taken under X-Ray (front side of the painting)

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revealed Rembrandt signature  «Rembrandt»  at the upper left corner of the painting (the location indicated by the yellow rectangle)
in white rectangle – sample of authentic Rembrandt signature

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on the image below — image taken under x-ray (back side of the painting) revealed Rembrandt signature  «Rembrandt»  at the lower left corner (the location indicated by the yellow rectangle)
in white rectangle – sample of authentic Rembrandt signature

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on the image below — area under the left foot of the person from the subject work revealed signature  «Rembrandt»  (the location indicated by the red rectangle)
in green rectangle – sample of authentic Rembrandt signature

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on the image below — lower right corner of the backside of the subject work revealed Rembrandt monogram (the location indicated by the red rectangle)
above green rectangle – sample of authentic Rembrandt monogram

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Microscopic examination (digital microscopy) - Research under the microscope (magnification x 600-fold).

Study the painting when using the microscope - non-invasive method, which gave information about the method of construction of the layers in the film, as well as about whether the work was subjected to subsequent revision or restoration.

Micrograph allowed to get a very clear idea of applying the technique of tiny strokes of paint. As a result, it was determined that the restoration is not subjected to the studied painting.

 

on the images below - the front side areas of the painting under the microscope

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on the images below - the front side areas of the painting under the microscope

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on the images below - the back side areas of the painting under the microscope

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A very important way to determine the authenticity of the painting, an analysis under the ultraviolet light.

Ultraviolet rays have allowed our experts to detect ageing varnish film - more than fresh paint appears darker in the ultraviolet. It is known that in the light of an ultraviolet lamp darker spots show through the restored areas and handicraft copied
signature.

Photographing paintings under ultraviolet light creates the effect of various different materials glow in the paint surface. According to our experts, this method is a reliable indicator of the state of the picture. This means that later varnish layers will differ from the initial layer on the color tone. This is also true for the retouched areas in comparison with the original layers of paint. Various pigments also have a different luminescence (such as zinc oxide - the older, the more yellow; fresh paint - bright lights).

As a result of research, it was determined that the restoration of the painting have not been performed.

 

Facial features analysis

The facial features of the person, portrayed in the subject work and the facial features of the person, portrayed in Rembrandt’s painting «Portrait of Marten Soolmans»(1634), was analyzed by a forensic expert.

As a result, it was concluded that the subject work depicts the same person as on painting «Portrait of Marten Soolmans», only at a younger age.

Area of the subject work

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Area of the painting «Portrait of Marten Soolmans», 1634

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According to the received information that the subject work was executed in “1632”, as well as details from Rembrandt’s biography, it was concluded that at the time of execution of the subject work, Rembrandt already been familiar with Marten Soolmans.

on left - area of the subject work , on right - area of the painting «Portrait of Marten Soolmans», 1634

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As a result, it was concluded that the subject work depicts the same person as on painting «Portrait of Marten Soolmans», only at a younger age.

 
Important facts from Rembrandt’s biography:

«Portrait of Marten Soolmans» Painted in 1634, when Rembrandt was just 28 years old, the works depict Marten Soolmans and his wife Oopjen Coppit, a year after their marriage. Soolmans was the scion of a wealthy Calvinist family, and had first met Rembrandt during his stay in Leiden from 1628 to 1633. Two years his elder, his wife Oopjen was the orphan of an old and respected Amsterdam family, and brought Soolmans both prestige, and a significant dowry of 35,000 guilders.

Information taken from Rembrandts biography details:

https://www.christies.com/features/My-highlight-of-2016-Two-Rembrandt-masterpieces-7997-1.aspx

Important facts from Rembrandt’s biography:

Marten Soolmans (1613-1641) was the son of Jan Soolmans, one of the Siege of Antwerp fled trader.  Martens father belonged to one of the many Flemish migrant families who, besides the expelled Sephardic Jews and the fled French Huguenots , had an important part in Holland's Golden Age.

The reason for choosing to portrait Marten Soolmans by Rembrandt is not known. It is possible that Rembrandt and Marten, who studied law from 1628 to 1631, knew each other; or perhaps because Soolmans lived in Amsterdam in the Nieuwe Hoogstraat (close to the current Trippenhuis ), not far from the Jodenbreestraat , where Rembrandt was employed by Gerrit Uylenburgh (famous art dealer).

Information taken from Rembrandts biography details on Wikipedia:

https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marten_Soolmans_en_Oopjen_Coppit

 

Inscription analysis

On the subject work were found inscriptions «Marten Soolmans», which confirms the person of the one who is depicted in the portrait.

on the image below — lower right corner of the back side of the subject work revealed inscription «Marten Soolmans» location indicated by the red rectangle
in green rectangle – sample of inscription Marten Soolmans

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on the image below — upper right corner of the subject work  revealed inscription «Marten Soolmans» location indicated by the red rectangle

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on the image below — upper right corner of the subject work rotated 90 degrees clockwise revealed inscription «Marten Soolmans» location indicated by the red rectangle
in green rectangle – sample of inscription Marten Soolmans

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on the image below — upper right corner of the subject work rotated 90 degrees clockwise revealed inscription «Marten Soolmans» location indicated by the red rectangle
in green rectangle – sample of inscription Marten Soolmans

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The stylistic analysis

Comparative stylistic analysis of the subject work on the basis of similar works of the artist that was taken from official sources. After analysis of technology, writing style, length and direction of strokes were found similarities of subject work with known works of the author.

 On the image below – area of the subject work

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On the image below – area of painting by Rembrandt “Self-Portrait with Two Circles”, 1660

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The bulding behind the person on the subject work.

 

The person that portrayed on a subject work is depicted standing before the most sacrosanct Islamic spot in Constantinople, the mosque of Abu Ayyub at Eyüp Sultan.

The Eyüp Sultan Mosque is situated in the Eyüp district of Istanbul, outside the city walls near the Golden Horn.

The Eyüp Sultan Mosque was constructed on the site in 1458 by the Ottoman Turks only five years after the conquest of Constantinople in 1453.

*source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ey%C3%BCp_Sultan_Mosque

 

On the image  - Mosque depicted on the subject work

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On the image  - photo of the Eyüp Sultan Mosque

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These facts about the mosque correspond to the year when the subject work was executed (1632).

Dutch–Turkish relations diplomatic relations widely encompass and span four centuries, beginning in 1612.

*source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Netherlands%E2%80%93Turkey_relations

Also Rembrandt has painted several works depicting people in oriental clothes.

 

This additionally proves that Rembrandt can be the author of the subject work.

Important research of the portrait of Thomas Hope (1769–1831) by Sir William Beechey  (1753 – 1839) and comparison with a subject work

 

On the image below - the portrait of Thomas Hope (1769–1831) by Sir William Beechey  (1753 – 1839), oil on canvas, 1798, 87 1/4 in. x 66 1/2 in. (2216 mm x 1689 mm) , National Portrait Gallery, London

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As you can see this painting is very similar to the subject work, but after research done by our specialists team it was revealed that the portrait of Thomas Hope (1769–1831) by Sir William Beechey is a work by Rembrandt.

After applying a special photo filters on the image of a work  by Sir William Beechey, it was revealed several signatures by Rembrandt.

 

Source image of the portrait of Thomas Hope (1769–1831) by Sir William Beechey is taken from official website of National Portrait Gallery, London

*source image available by the link - https://www.npg.org.uk/collections/search/portrait/mw03241/Thomas-Hope

 

on the image below – upper left corner of the image of the portrait of Thomas Hope (1769–1831) by Sir William Beechey after applying special black and white photo filter

- in the red rectangle – a revealed signature “Rembrandt f”

- in the green rectangle – a sample of authentic signature of Rembrandt

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Conclusion: as a result of research of the portrait of Thomas Hope (1769–1831) by Sir William Beechey it was revealed several signatures by Rembrandt.

 

From that it was concluded  that the portrait of Thomas Hope (1769–1831) by Sir William Beechey is executed not by Sir William Beechey. It was mistaken atributed to Sir William Beechey. The real author of a work is Rembrandt (1606-1609).

And it can be concluded that the subject work is a preliminary sketch for these work, performed in reversed style.

 

On the image — the subject work,

Size: 40-30 sm

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On the image — work mistaken attributed to Sir William Beechey,

Size: 221 cm x 168 sm

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Analysis in color inversion filter

Comparing analysis of subject work with samples of original works by Rembrandt in color inversion mode revealed similarity of colors, composition and brush strokes technique.

 

The subject work in color inversion

 

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a painting by Rembrandt "Self-portrait in oriental attire with poodle", 1631, in color inversion filter

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Comparative analysis of black-and-white color filter, and in sepia found similarities  instyle of writing, composition and brush strokes technique.

 

The subject work in black-and-white color filter

 

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a painting by Rembrandt "Self-portrait in oriental attire with poodle", 1631, in black-and-white color filter

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The subject work in sepia filter

 

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a painting by Rembrandt  "Self-portrait in oriental attire with poodle", 1631, in sepia filter

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The subject work  in black-and-white color inversion filter

 

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a painting by Rembrandt  "Self-portrait in oriental attire with poodle", 1631, in black-and-white color inversion filter

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 Subject work, verso

 

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Seal on back side of the subject work

With help of special color filters on studied painting back side was revealed  seal of the brand of the Antwerp Panel-maker’s Guild

on the image below — sample of the reverse of a 16th-century oil painting on panel showing the brand of the city of Antwerp — a pair of hands above a castle — indicating the work’s support was approved by a guild of panel-makers. The mark dates from 1617, when new regulations required guilds to register a symbol, with 22 official makers listed.

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Information taken from the links below:
(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guild_of_Saint_Luke)
(http://www.christies.com/features/What-you-can-learn-from-the-back-of-a-painting-6359-1.aspx)
(http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/articles/o/panel-makers-mark/ )

 

on the image below - seal of the brand of the antwerp panel-maker’s guild and the maker’s mark of Michiel Vriendt (active 1615–1637), (initials «MV» in center of the seal)

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on the image below — upper left corner of the back side of studied wooden panel (the location of seal indicated by the red rectangle)
in white rectangle — sample of original seal of antwerp panel-maker’s guild, in wooden color rectangle — sample of the antwerp panel-maker’s guild and the maker’s mark of Michiel Vriendt (initials «MV» in center of the seal)

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Seal on front side of the subject work

With help of special color filters on studied painting front side was revealed  seal in form of Coat of Arms of Henrietta Maria of France (1625-1649)

 

on the image below - seal in form of Coat of Arms of Henrietta Maria of France (1625-1649)

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on the image below — upper right corner of the subject work rotated 90 degrees clockwise - location of seal indicated by the red rectangle
in green rectangle — sample of original seal in form of Coat of Arms of Henrietta Maria of France revealed signature  «Rembrandt» indicated by the red rectangle
in green rectangle – sample of authentic Rembrandt signature

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Note:

To protect their works, most artists put their signatures, seals and labels on the inner layers of the painting. Also, artists use the application of a signature for the purposes of selecting the necessary color gamma in the process of writing the work. By thus applying a signature to the still not dried layer in the process of work, the artist looks at the color transitions and thus achieves the color gamma that he needs.

Also, in order to protect the work, artists used translucent ink or a graphite pencil, making notes or their signature. In the process of writing a picture, this is done several times, which explains their large number. On the reverse side of the canvas is likewise placed a large number of signatures and labels.

In the process of writing the paintings, artists repeatedly make corrections to the drawing and the color palette. For this reason, the original signature is painted over with the next author's layer and applied on the new image anew in approximately the same place where it was originally located. Therefore, in one section there may be several signatures on different authorial layers, which are detected with the use of special technical means.

In the subject work, the author's signatures are in large numbers (more than 20 signatures on each side). Signatures are found all over the surface of the subject work. All signatures have different sizes.

This expertise shows the signatures and inscriptions that are best seen.

All signatures, marks and seals on the subject work are visible to the naked eye. Using the equipment, we can increase their visibility and show in this report.

 

Conclusion:

As a result of research of the painting "Portrait of Marten Soolmans in oriental costume", Rembrandt van Rijn's signatures and Rembrandt’s monogram were found, as well as the year «1632» on the front and back side of the subject work.

From the result of forensic expertise and Rembrandt’s biography details, it was concluded that the subject work depicts the same person as on painting «Portrait of Marten Soolmans», only at a younger age. This person is Marten Soolmans (1613-1641).

Inscription «Marten Soolmans» were found on the front and back side of the subject work , which confirms the person of the one who is depicted in the portrait.

On the front side of the subject work  revealed seal in form of Coat of Arms of Henrietta Maria of France (1625-1649).

On the back side of the subject work revealed seal of the brand of the Antwerp panel-maker’s Guild 
and the maker’s mark of Michiel Vriendt (active 1615–1637) that corresponds to years of life of Rembrandt and what confirms the authenticity of the wooden panel.

All of that confirms the authenticity of the subject work, and originality of its performance.

A comparison of the features of the composition, of color and artistic methods clearly shows that the subject work is the painting by Rembrandt van Rijn.

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