In 1911 the Rembrandt connoisseur and then director of The National Gallery, Karl Madsen, found The Crusader in a remote corner of Fredensborg Castle where it had been placed in temporary storage. Despite Karl Madsen's evident enthusiasm for the painting, its status was soon called into question, and in 1969 it was rejected as a Rembrandt.
The most recent studies now tell us that the painting is a sketch for The Knight with the Falcon (Göteborgs Konstmuseum). X-rays support this assumption by demonstrating that the underlying layers of paint are built up in a manner typical of Rembrandt.
The piece presumably depicts the Dutch Saint Bavo, and the painting has the convincing oscillation between the precise and the spontaneous that is so typical of Rembrandt. At the same time it exemplifies the pastose manner of painting characteristic of the artist's late work. There are, however, some signs to suggest that parts of the painting were done by one of Rembrandt's students, a common practice at the master's workshop.
See Study of an Old Man in Profile
See Article to WWAR Art News, Columbus, Ohio and Editorial Croquis, Buenos Aires
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