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The young Van Dyck’s fingerprint : a technical approach to assess the authenticity of a disputed painting

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Abstract
The painting Saint Jerome, part of the collection of the Maagdenhuis Museum (Antwerp, Belgium), is attributed to the young Anthony van Dyck (1613–1621) with reservations. The painting displays remarkable compositional and iconographic similarities with two early Van Dyck works (1618–1620) now in Museum Boijmans van Beuningen (Rotterdam) and Nationalmuseum (Stockholm). Despite these similarities, previous art historical research did not result in a clear attribution to this master. In this study, the work’s authenticity as a young Van Dyck painting was assessed from a technical perspective by employing a twofold approach. First, technical information on Van Dyck’s materials and techniques, here identified as his fingerprint, were defined based on a literature review. Second, the materials and techniques of the questioned Saint Jerome painting were characterized by using complementary imaging techniques: infrared reflectography, X-ray radiography and macro X-ray fluorescence scanning. The insights from this non-invasive research were supplemented with analysis of a limited number of cross-sections by means of field emission scanning electron microscopy coupled with energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy. The results demonstrated that the questioned painting’s materials and techniques deviate from Van Dyck’s fingerprint, thus making the authorship of this master very unlikely.
Keywords
Anthony van Dyck, Saint Jerome, Attribution problems, IRR, XRR, MA-XRF scanning, FE-SEM-EDX

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MLA
Harth, Astrid, et al. “The Young Van Dyck’s Fingerprint : A Technical Approach to Assess the Authenticity of a Disputed Painting.” HERITAGE SCIENCE, vol. 5, no. 1, 2017, doi:10.1186/s40494-017-0136-3.
APA
Harth, A., Van der Snickt, G., Schalm, O., Janssens, K., & Blanckaert, G. (2017). The young Van Dyck’s fingerprint : a technical approach to assess the authenticity of a disputed painting. HERITAGE SCIENCE, 5(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s40494-017-0136-3
Chicago author-date
Harth, Astrid, Geert Van der Snickt, Olivier Schalm, Koen Janssens, and Griet Blanckaert. 2017. “The Young Van Dyck’s Fingerprint : A Technical Approach to Assess the Authenticity of a Disputed Painting.” HERITAGE SCIENCE 5 (1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s40494-017-0136-3.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Harth, Astrid, Geert Van der Snickt, Olivier Schalm, Koen Janssens, and Griet Blanckaert. 2017. “The Young Van Dyck’s Fingerprint : A Technical Approach to Assess the Authenticity of a Disputed Painting.” HERITAGE SCIENCE 5 (1). doi:10.1186/s40494-017-0136-3.
Vancouver
1.
Harth A, Van der Snickt G, Schalm O, Janssens K, Blanckaert G. The young Van Dyck’s fingerprint : a technical approach to assess the authenticity of a disputed painting. HERITAGE SCIENCE. 2017;5(1).
IEEE
[1]
A. Harth, G. Van der Snickt, O. Schalm, K. Janssens, and G. Blanckaert, “The young Van Dyck’s fingerprint : a technical approach to assess the authenticity of a disputed painting,” HERITAGE SCIENCE, vol. 5, no. 1, 2017.
@article{8522929,
  abstract     = {{The painting Saint Jerome, part of the collection of the Maagdenhuis Museum (Antwerp, Belgium), is attributed to the young Anthony van Dyck (1613–1621) with reservations. The painting displays remarkable compositional and iconographic similarities with two early Van Dyck works (1618–1620) now in Museum Boijmans van Beuningen (Rotterdam) and Nationalmuseum (Stockholm). Despite these similarities, previous art historical research did not result in a clear attribution to this master. In this study, the work’s authenticity as a young Van Dyck painting was assessed from a technical perspective by employing a twofold approach. First, technical information on Van Dyck’s materials and techniques, here identified as his fingerprint, were defined based on a literature review. Second, the materials and techniques of the questioned Saint Jerome painting were characterized by using complementary imaging techniques: infrared reflectography, X-ray radiography and macro X-ray fluorescence scanning. The insights from this non-invasive research were supplemented with analysis of a limited number of cross-sections by means of field emission scanning electron microscopy coupled with energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy. The results demonstrated that the questioned painting’s materials and techniques deviate from Van Dyck’s fingerprint, thus making the authorship of this master very unlikely.}},
  articleno    = {{22}},
  author       = {{Harth, Astrid and Van der Snickt, Geert and Schalm, Olivier and Janssens, Koen and Blanckaert, Griet}},
  issn         = {{2050-7445}},
  journal      = {{HERITAGE SCIENCE}},
  keywords     = {{Anthony van Dyck,Saint Jerome,Attribution problems,IRR,XRR,MA-XRF scanning,FE-SEM-EDX}},
  language     = {{eng}},
  number       = {{1}},
  pages        = {{13}},
  title        = {{The young Van Dyck’s fingerprint : a technical approach to assess the authenticity of a disputed painting}},
  url          = {{http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s40494-017-0136-3}},
  volume       = {{5}},
  year         = {{2017}},
}

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