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May 19, 2024

THE HAGUE (AFP) -- A painting attributed for 300 years to a pupil of Dutch artist Rembrandt van Rijn was in fact the work of the 17th century master himself, a Rotterdam museum said Wednesday.

"Up to now, we thought that the canvas was painted by a student of Rembrandt," Boijmans van Beuningen museum spokeswoman Carola de Groen told AFP of the work entitled "Tobias and His Wife".

But Dutch Rembrandt expert Ernst van de Wetering presented a report this week with evidence that the work was of the master himself. "We have just been informed that Museum Boijmans van Beuningen has a new Rembrandt in the collection," said a statement. The oil painting of 40.3 centimetres (about 16 inches) high and 54 cm wide was given to the museum on loan by an art foundation in 1972 as an example of the work of one of Rembrandt's students.

Since its authentication, the painting has been valued at eight million euros (11 million dollars) -- up from an estimation of 80,000 euros last week, de Groen said.
The work, which depicts a man and his wife by an open hearth, will go on display for a month from this Friday.

The statement said that Van de Wetering had based his conclusion on similarities between "Tobias and His Wife" and other works by Rembrandt, and a "specific feeling for detail" similar to the master's work of the 1640s. "The application of perspective in the work and the step in the foreground all suggest that the work is a genuine Rembrandt," it said under the heading "No Doubt".