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The Rediscovery of Jan Ruyscher and Its Consequence

Fiorillo, Flavia
Hendriks, Laura
Hajdas, Irka
Vandini, Mariangela
Published in Journal of the American Institute for Conservation. 2021
Abstract In 2014, a painting attributed to the 17th century Dutch artist Jan Ruyscher appeared on the art market. Despite a prestigious career, possibly pupil of Rembrandt and Hercules Seghers, Ruyscher vanished from art history after his death and was only rediscovered in the 1930s. In this research paper, the combination of multiple analytic techniques ranging from radiocarbon dating of the support material to multispectral imaging and spectroscopic analyses (XRF, SEM-EDS, FTIR and Raman) of the pictorial layer offers a comprehensive analysis of the object. Radiocarbon analyses of the wooden panel identified a time range between 1660-1750, whereas spectroscopic analyses pinpointed the 20th century as a timeframe for the pictorial layers. The applied methodology allowed to shed new light on the story of the object itself. The painting was created at the earliest in the 1930s possibly as a consequence of the rediscovery of Ruyscher, where the deliberate use of an aged panel supports an intent to deceit and hence classifies the object as a forgery. The case under study was furthermore compared with artworks of renowned forgers in an attempt to identify the forger in disguise.
Keywords Panel paintingRadiocarbon datingPigment analysisJan RuyscherForgery
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Research group Laboratoire d’archéologie et peuplement de l'Afrique (APA)
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FIORILLO, Flavia et al. The Rediscovery of Jan Ruyscher and Its Consequence. In: Journal of the American Institute for Conservation, 2021. doi: 10.1080/01971360.2020.1822702 https://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/unige:147200

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Deposited on : 2021-01-13

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