October 4, 2008

New Brueghel (the Younger) discovered

Filed under: Art,History by Branko Collin @ 11:25 am

Hot on the heels of a recent discovery of a Frans Hals painting comes the news that a painting of Pieter Brueghel The Younger was unearthed last Sunday in Enschede. Writes the Guardian:

It cost the equivalent of £560 when it was snapped up in a Dutch flea market almost 50 years ago. Now the owner of a small round painting of two peasants has been told she owns an unknown work by the 17th-century Flemish artist Pieter Brueghel the Younger.

The owner took it to experts on the Dutch TV show Between Art and Kitsch, similar to the Antiques Roadshow. They immediately recognised the importance of the signed, 16cm-wide picture of a farmer and his wife resting next to a tree, valuing it at €80,000 to €100,000 (£63,000 to £79,000).

The painting was discovered during a recording of Tussen Kunst en Kitsch at the Rijksmuseum Twenthe in Enschede. The round panel from 1620 depicts a couple of farmers resting near a tree after harvest. Broadcaster AVRO reports that the signature is applied to the stem of the tree and can be read from top to bottom. The show’s expert of old paintings, John Hoogsteder, notes that the way the paint has risen because of the shrinking of the wooden makes him sure that it’s an original. AVRO will broadcast the episode with the Brueghel discovery sometime in March.

Pieter Brueghel the Younger was a Flemish painter best known for copying his famous father’s works.

Photo: detail.

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July 30, 2008

‘Hidden’ Van Gogh painting uncovered

Filed under: Art,History,Science by Orangemaster @ 3:10 pm

Van Gogh

A new technique allows pictures which were later painted over to be revealed once more. An international research team, including members from Delft University of Technology and the University of Antwerp, has successfully applied this technique for the first time to the painting entitled ‘Patch of Grass’ by Vincent van Gogh. Behind this painting is a portrait of a woman.

It is well-known that Van Gogh often painted over his older works. Experts estimate that about one third of his early paintings conceal other compositions under them. A new technique, based on synchrotron radiation induced X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy, reveals this type of hidden painting. The techniques usually used to reveal concealed layers of paintings, such as conventional X-ray radiography, have their limitations. Together with experts from the Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron in Hamburg and the Kröller-Müller Museum, TU Delft materials expert and art historian Dr Joris Dik, and University of Antwerp chemistry professor Koen Janssens therefore chose to adopt a different approach. The painting is subjected to an X-ray bundle from a synchrotron radiation source, and the fluorescence of the layers of paint is measured. This technique has the major advantage that the measured fluorescence is specific to each chemical element. Each type of atom (e.g. lead or mercury) and also individual paint pigments can therefore be charted individually. The benefit of using synchrotron radiation is that the upper layers of paint distort the measurements to a lesser degree. Moreover, the speed of measurement is high, which allows relatively large areas to be visualised.

(Link and photo: eurekalert.org)

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