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German museum discovers it's had a Rembrandt for centuries

February 14, 2017

The drawing of a dog has been in the German museum's collection since 1770, but only now have experts discovered that Dutch master Rembrandt created the artwork. It's now slated to go on show.

Herzog Anton Ulrich Museum in Braunschweig
The Herzog Anton Ulrich Museum in Braunschweig has some 190,000 works in its collectionImage: picture-alliance/dpa/P. Steffen

The Herzog Anton Ulrich Museum in the north-central German city of Braunschweig announced Tuesday that its troves contained an unusual drawing of a dog by Dutch master Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-1669). The discovery came during a systematic digitization of drawings.

Drawing of dog by Rembrandt in the Herzog Anton Ulrich Museum in Braunschweig
Rembrandt created very few known drawings of animalsImage: C. Cordes, HAUM

Experts made comparisons, including microscopic analyses, with other Rembrandt originals in Amsterdam, Paris and Vienna to confirm that the chalk drawing indeed came from the world-renowned Dutch master's hand. The museum noted how unusual the discovery was as worldwide only few drawings of animals by Rembrandt exist. The artist created them as studies for works that, particularly in the 1630s, depicted dogs as secondary motifs.

Rembrandt to go on show

The museum has had the drawing in its collection since the 1770s, but it had been attributed to German artist Johann Melchior Roos (1663-1731).

Museum visitors can view the work as of April 6 in the special exhibition entitled "Dürer, Cézanne und Du. Wie Meister zeichnen" (Dürer, Cézanne and You. How Masters Draw).

als/kbm (with dpa)