Art experts say painting credited to Rembrandt pupil was actually work of the Dutch master

Curators at a Berlin museum say the 17th century work showed hallmarks of the celebrated painter

The painting had been attributed to a pupil of Rembrandt for more than three decades. Reuters
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Art experts in Germany say a 17th century Rembrandt painting that had been attributed to one of his former pupils was actually the work of the Dutch master himself.

Curators at Berlin’s Gemaeldegalerie museum made the discovery after undertaking painstaking analysis of the 1638 work Landscape with Arched Bridge using X-ray and other technical recordings.

The painting was acquired by the Berlin museum in 1924 and was considered an authentic work by Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn until the 1980s when experts attributed it to his pupil Govert Flinck.

The small work, which measures only 28.5 by 39.5 centimetres, was being prepared for a coming exhibition by British artist David Hockney, and curators used this opportunity to look more closely into its provenance.

Experts from the Rembrandt Research Project, which oversee all research and discoveries about the Dutch painter, said the artwork showed hallmarks of Rembrandt's previous paintings. The gallery found that the painter had made radical changes to the work during its creation, making it more compact and dense.

It bore particular resemblance to Landscape with Stone Bridge, which is displayed at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, and is one of the handful of landscapes created by the artist during his lifetime.

Katja Kleinert, the curator for Dutch and Flemish art of the 17th century at the Gemaeldegalerie, said that experts were unanimous in their verdict that the painting was the work of Rembrandt.

“You quite often get pairs of paintings, where you have the impression he is trying to do the same again, but in another style of painting or to optimise what he has already achieved,” she said.

Landscape with Arched Bridge will be included in the exhibition David Hockney — Landscapes in Dialogue, which opens this month at the Gemaeldegalerie.

Updated: April 03, 2022, 8:29 AM