Real or Fake – Authenticiy in Art
© Becky Linhardt 2012
Did Rembrandt really produce as many paintings and prints as have been attributed to him? At one time the great status associated with owning a Rembrandt painting or print created quite a market for Rembrandt’s work among the newly rich in America. Many wealthy families traveling in Europe invested in a Rembrandt painting to be shipped to the states and displayed in their homes in America.
Were all of these paintings sold to Americans as “painted by Rembrandt” truly created by the master himself? Have some museum’s been misled? These are questions explored by the exhibition Rembrandt in America that was on view through May 2012 and is now touring with the above painting from the Cleveland Museum of Art’s own collection.
The selected Rembrandt paintings included some from the Cleveland Museum of Art’s own collection and have been researched with new forensic technologies now available to art historians. The results reveal just how much we know, and don’t know about the individual works of art. Portrait of a Woman will return to Cleveland after the exhibition and rejoin the Cleveland Museum of Art’s spectacular collection of master works and contemporary art.
After years of work, construction is almost complete on the new wings that will be able to better display the museum’s numerous art treasures – many that have been safely stored or have been traveling while the exhibition spaces have been updated.
The Cleveland Museum of Art is very active within the city’s cultural community so check the museum’s web site for details on the revitalized spaces and new exhibitions/events to come. NOTE: There is no general admission charge to The Cleveland Museum of Art’s extensive collection. There is a fee for parking.
The Cleveland Museum of Art – 11150 East Blvd., University Circle, Cleveland, OH 44106
THE IMAGE ABOVE: Information provided by The Cleveland Museum of Art
Portrait of a Woman, 1635 or earlier. Rembrandt van Rijn (Dutch, 1606–1669) and workshop. Oil on wood; 77.5 x 64.8 cm. The Cleveland Museum of Art, The Elisabeth Severance Prentiss Collection 1944.90. Image © The Cleveland Museum of Art
This painting has long been understood as a work with considerable condition problems. Past restorations have solved some of the issues, but in a few cases, treatments obscured more than they revealed about the painting. As a result, the attribution has been contested and the current condition has hindered the ability to see the picture properly.