Museum Discovers Drawing is Actually by Rembrandt

Rembrandt Harmensz. Van Rijn (1606-1669), study of a sitting dog, around 1637, black chalk, 82 x 99 mm, © C. Cordes, Herzog Anton Ulrich Museum Braunschweig, Kupferstichkabinett

A chalk drawing credited to a German painter for more than two centuries has been identified as a work by Dutch master Rembrandt van Rijn.

For the past 250 years, the Herzog Anton Ulrich Museum in Braunschweig, Germany attributed “the Braunschweig terrier,” a chalk drawing of a dog, to German animal painter Johann Melchior Roos. The drawing has been a part of the museum’s collection since 1770 and is said to have originated in 1637.

Professor Thomas Doring, the museum’s curator of prints and drawings, came across the drawing two years ago while cataloging the museum’s 10,000 drawings for a digital archive.

“The boldness of the strokes, the variations in the shading from very gentle to quite violent and the expressive gaze [of the dog] — these are very typical idiosyncrasies of Rembrandt’s work,” Doring told CNN.

Doring showed the drawing to three of the top scholars of Rembrandt’s drawings. All expressed confidence it was created by Rembrandt.

“It’s extremely rare for all of the experts in a field to agree on an issue as controversial as this,” said Doring.

Rembrandt’s previous animal studies include drawings of elephants and a horse-drawn carriage. A statement from the museum points out the dog in the drawing bears resemblance to the dog depicted in Rembrandt’s masterpiece, “The Night Watch.”

The museum will display the properly-attributed artwork during an exhibition that opens April 6.

“The Good Samaritan” (1633), Rembrandt van Rijn

This is not the first time in recent history a work of art has been properly identified as a Rembrandt. In 2015, the Mauritshuis museum declared a painting, “Saul and David,” was painted by Rembrandt and not one of his pupils.

Rembrandt’s mastery of painting, printmaking and draftsmanship place him as one of the greatest visual artists in history. Contact Park West Gallery at (800) 521-9654 ext. 4 or sales@parkwestgallery.com for information on how to collect artwork by Rembrandt.