Rembrandt’s fingerprints spotted in 400-year-old painting

rembrantfingerprints
The Dutch master is thought to have touched the oil paint on Study Of A Head Of A Young Man when it was still wet.

By Stephen White
21:21, 21 Nov. 2018

Study Of A Head Of A Young Man portrays Rembrandt’s model as Jesus (Image: PA)
Fingerprints thought to be those of Dutch master Rembrandt have been discovered in a small oil sketch almost 400 years old.

Study Of A Head Of A Young Man, measuring just 10in high, is expected to fetch about £6million when it is auctioned in London next month.

Buried in the original layer of paint, in the lower edge of the “powerful and touching” 17th century portrait, experts found what are believed to be the Dutch master’s thumbprints.

No other prints by the painter, said to be the “foremost master of the Western artistic tradition”, have ever been found.

While it is impossible to confirm the prints are those of Rembrandt, who is famous for his portraits and use of light and shadow, experts believe they are the “only known fingerprints of the Dutch master”.

They were uncovered during a process of technical examination and restoration, which included pigment analyses, X-ray and infra-red imaging, just before the painting went on display in the US and the Louvre, in Paris.

George Gordon, worldwide co-chairman of Sotheby’s Old Master paintings, who are auctioning the work, called the find an “extraordinary discovery”.

The fingerprints were left on the 1655 painting when the paint was still wet.

The Next Rembrandt: Dutch Master ‘brought back to life’ for one last painting
“You often get finger and thumbprints in the varnish of painting, but that doesn’t really tell you anything of interest,” he said. “This is in the original paint.

“This shows that Rembrandt was happy with the painting while it was still wet. He painted it very quickly.

“But what is certain is that it is somebody that picked up the painting as soon as it was finished.”

He added: “While as far as we know no comparable finger or thumbprints of Rembrandt have been found in other works to confirm the conclusion, the discovery of the marks in the original layer of paint…. make their connection to the artist highly credible.”

He said that the portrait, dating from around 1655, has a “spiritual and emotional impact”.

“We know he worked really quickly and you can also see and feel it in this painting,” he said.

“When Rembrandt applies thick layers of paint, some of the colour leaches through. It has an intense visceral quality and is astonishingly well preserved.”

He added: “I suspect people will now look for fingerprints in other paintings.”

Michel van de Laar, a conservator in Amsterdam who helped lead the research, said: “The work was also determined to have been executed in one sitting.

“The discovery of the fingerprints is further testament to the speed with which the work was likely executed and provides fresh insight into Rembrandt’s complex but swift painting technique.”

Study Of A Head Of A Young Man portrays Rembrandt’s model as Jesus, with his hands clasped in prayer, and has been praised for the artist’s ability to “render human emotions”.

Father • Son • Holy Spirit, and The Shack For Two Brothers

The ShackI have been wondering, for several years, if there are other people who are convinced that the traditional teachings of the Church do not fulfill the accurate and true attitude, image, and mind-set of the Trinity. Specifically, why do we seem to separate the attitude and image of God the father from those of Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit?

I recently found a short yet significant read that is causing redefining moments in my thought processes. William P. Young (The Shack, 2007) presents compelling suggestions that we, as a Church, need to reassess the images we invoke when we speak of the attitude, image, and mind-set of the Trinity.

Traditional teachings seem to present that God the Father is a wise old man who sits in judgment. Sometimes we include the flowing long gray- or white-haired old man who wears a flowing robe. Usually we project a sternness of appearance, demeanor, and attitude. I suggest that many times we project God the Father as a proverbial taskmaster. Kind of like when we do something wrong (make an error, sin) look out because our error or sin has caused the Father to be angry. I suggest that the Father is not the angry God that Edwards (1741) presents in his sermon Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God. Actually, the Father is quite the opposite. The second point of discussion is our projection of Jesus.

I humbly suggest that Jesus is not the epitome of a Jewish priest. My heart strings tell me that Jesus is more like the personal prayer partner or accountability partner that each of us should have, and, be to others. Yes, he is a priest. Yes, he is Jewish. Yes, he is the human form of God the Father. However, his role is not judgmental. Rather, reconciliation and relationship restoration. Biblical perspectives and stories suggest that Jesus is a hands-on, loving, caring, one-on-one relationship focused partner. His relationship with the disciples, His presentation to the woman at the well, His people-first behavior, His commitment to the Father’s will, are examples of Jesus’ dedication to people. In summary, we misrepresent God the Father and Jesus the Son as the good cop-bad cop cycle. The third point of discussion is our understanding of The Holy Spirit.

In short, I suggest that the Holy Spirit has two primary jobs. First, to commute between heaven and earth to present to God the Father, and Jesus the Son, evidence that we are behaving with a mind-of-Christ. Basically, to evidence that we are getting it right. The second job is to quietly convict us of our errors (sins). The Holy Spirit’s intent of conviction is to bring us into restored relationship that provides physical evidence so that the Holy Spirit may complete His primary job.

Young’s novelette presents a thorough review of our misconceptions while presenting plausible alternatives. His thought processes are interesting and Biblically valid. Enjoy the read.

Thanks for listening.
Dennis LeRoy Duncan

Edwards, Jonathan. (1741). Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God. Retrieved on 31 May 2008, from The Holy Bible. The Open Bible. King James Version. (1975). Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Young, William P. (2007). The Shack. Windblown Media, Los Angeles, California.

YOU Are Important

Rev. Dennis LeRoy Duncan, MSWhether you believe that God the Father, Jesus Christ the Son, and the Holy Spirit are who they claim to be does not change the fact that they are, indeed, who they claim to be. One part of this precept supports the notion that the Bible is literally the inspired word of God. Additional support for this hypothesis is provided in II Timothy 3:16 and provides concrete evidence of this hypothesis. Timothy states that “All scripture is given by inspiration of God…” This point is foundational to the Christian belief system and to our healthy development as human beings.

Let me explain.

The Biblical character, King David, notes in Psalms 139 that our God, the everlasting presence, knows everything there is to know about us. There is no place where we can hide from God, and no thought that we can prevent Him from knowing. Actually, King David suggests that God already knows our thoughts, needs and desires. How does this relate to YOU and your importance?

 

Knowing that the Bible is the inspired word of God, and King David is right in his Psalms 139:14 narrative when he states that “for I am fearfully and wonderfully made…”, then, before the beginning of time, God has known you. I suggest, no: I know, that YOU are so important that Christ designed your specific DNA before the Father actually spoke the creation narration. The artist Lindsey-Anderson depicts this concept in the painting on this page.

Please do not believe the doubts you sometimes have about your self, or what others may say or think about you. YOU are important! God said it, I believe it, that settles it! I love you.

 

1, Who is the artist in the picture, and how do you know. 2. What are your observations of the pencil, 3. What is the artist drawing?
Comments Welcomed on: 1, Who is the artist in the picture, and how do you know. 2. What are your observations of the pencil, 3. What is the artist drawing?

Dennis LeRoy Duncan

Ref:

The Holy Bible. The Open Bible. King James Version. (1975). Thomas Nelson Publishers.