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Study of an Old Man in Profile

RembrandtAbout 1630

SMK - Statens Museum for Kunst

SMK - Statens Museum for Kunst

The small Study of an Old Man in Profile was found by director of Statens Museum for Kunst, Karl Madsen at Fredensborg Castle, where he discovered the painting in a storage attic 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.

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  • Title: Study of an Old Man in Profile
  • Creator: Rembrandt van Rijn
  • Date Created: About 1630
  • Værktekst: Det lille Studie af et oldingehoved i profil blev fundet af direktør for Statens Museum for Kunst Karl Madsen på Fredensborg Slot. Her genfandt han billedet på et magasinloft i 1899. Men allerede fra 1933 betvivlede Rembrandt-forskere tilskrivningen. Det skyldtes især billedets grove malestil, som med datidens øjne var svært forenelig med den typisk minutiøse og gennemarbejdede stil i Rembrandts tidlige værker. Nyere kunsthistorie har dog påpeget, at Rembrandt allerede i de tidlige arbejdsår i fødebyen Leiden eksperimenterede med en mere bred og varieret penselføring. Ligesom tilsvarende værker af den unge Rembrandt, fremstår dette lille maleri som en øvelse fra kunstnerens side. Det bekræftes i røntgenoptagelser, som afslører, at oldingehovedet er malet oven på et andet hoved, som optræder i flere af Rembrandts billeder fra disse år. Samtidig viser undersøgelserne af træpladen, at den geografisk og tidsmæssigt kan placeres i forlængelse af Rembrandt.
  • Teknik: Olie på træ
  • Proveniens: Erhvervet før 1775
  • Provenance: Acquired before 1775
  • Physical Dimensions: w16 x h19.5 cm (Without frame)
  • Dansk link: http://www.smk.dk/index.php?id=2911
  • Dansk Titel: Studie af et oldingehoved i profil
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: Statens Museum for Kunst, http://www.smk.dk/en/copyright/creative-commons/
  • Medium: Oil on panel

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