Rembrandt experts in Amsterdam unveiled several portraits Thursday previously attributed to his students that they now believe came from the brush of the 17th century master himself and said they were reassessing the way Rembrandt worked.
The paintings are detailed faces or half-figures showing light striking from unusual angles, leading the experts to conclude that Rembrandt made such studies in preparation for larger historical or biblical compositions.
Ernst van de Wetering, chairman of the Rembrandt Research Project, said he could reattribute the works to Rembrandt based on the subtlety of the lighting and brush work and the materials that were used.
The Rembrandt Research Project was launched in 1968 to sift through about 700 works that may or may not have been done by the Dutch-born painter. About half were discarded as imitations by his students. But Van de Wetering said the initial assessment might have been too harsh. Studies with new technologies and more insight into the period should lead to a constant reevaluation.