small Study of an Old Man in Profile is
find made by Karl Madsen at Fredensborg Castle, where he discovered the
painting in a storage in 1899. However, Rembrandt scholars doubted this
attribution from as far back as 1933 onwards.
Their doubts were mainly caused by the coarse style of painting. The scholars of the time found it difficult to reconcile this coarseness with what they thought of as the typically very meticulous and carefully finished style of Rembrandt's early works.
Recent art history has, however, pointed out that even during the earliest stage of his career - the years spent painting in his native town of Leiden - Rembrandt experimented with broader and more varied brushstrokes. Like other works by the young Rembrandt, this small painting appears to be a practice piece. X-ray studies bear out this theory by showing us that the old man's head was painted on top of another head that appears in several of Rembrandt's paintings from those years.
At the same time, studies of the wooden panel show that the wood can be traced back to Rembrandt in terms of both geography and time.
See The Crusader
See Article to WWAR Art News, Columbus, Ohio and Editorial Croquis, Buenos Aires
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