Authenticated Van Dyck portrait goes on display at Minneapolis Institute of Arts


An example of one of Anthony Van Dyck's work, Self portrait

A self-portrait by Flemish Baroque artist Anthony van Dyck, previously dismissed as a fake, has gone on show at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minnesota. The controversial portrait will remain on display at the institution until 2017.

The painting was written off as a fake over a decade ago when co-author of the artist’s catalogue raisonné, Oliver Millar, claimed that the work was “possibly a very early copy”. Not all were convinced however, and when the work was sold at auction as a copy in May 2012, it well exceeded its high-end estimate of €40,000, selling for €512,000, indicating that some collectors remained confident of its authenticity.

The painting buyer’s invested in extensive restoration of the work, removing layers of varnish and over-painting. Following the restoration, the painting was reassessed by experts Susan Barnes, another co-author of the 2004 catalogue raisonné, Christopher Brown, former director of the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, David Jaffé, former senior curator at the National Gallery, London, and Malcom Rogers, the outgoing director of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, who confirmed its authenticity. The current Minneapolis exhibition marks the second time ever that the piece has featured in a museum show.

Image courtesy of Wikipedia