New Rembrandt


Why was she wearing fur?

That was one of the first questions experts asked when they began studying a 17th-century portrait of a woman who had the unmistakably stolid face of a servant but was decked out in a sumptuous fur collar. And why did the light on her face appear to be reflected off the dark surface of that collar when it should be absorbed by it?

“Portrait of an Elderly Woman in a White Bonnet” with the fur collar.
These were puzzling questions, since the woman, whose head is covered in a plain white bonnet, certainly did not seem to belong to the class of 17th-century Dutch society that had its portraits painted. Some experts would have taken one look at the canvas and immediately dismissed it as the work of a minor artist.

more from the NYT here.