Unraveling a 17th-Century North Netherlandish Panel Maker

Online Publication Date: 21 Dec 2022 By Jørgen Wadum, Marta Domínguez-Delmás, and Angela Jager. ‘4MM’ mark on the back of the painting ‘Portrait of a 36-year-old woman’ by Jan Daemen Cool, signed by the artist in 1632. Photo: Frankfurt a. M., Städel Museum. Abstract The marking and branding of oak panel painting supports is a well-known practiceContinue reading “Unraveling a 17th-Century North Netherlandish Panel Maker”

Art historical research leads to a rare family reunion in Denmark

A joint research project by The Nivaagaard Collection and the RKD – Netherlands Institute for Art History has led to a great discovery. A double portrait made in 1626 appeared to be missing a part displaying a woman. Father and son are pictured without the mother, while the Flemish master Cornelis de Vos had painted a family of three.Continue reading “Art historical research leads to a rare family reunion in Denmark”


NEWS #1 from the Nivaagaard Collection, March 2022 The painting of a winding, sandy road and several farmhouses in a dune landscape by Jan Van Goyen is familiar to everyone who has visited the old masters at the Nivaagaard Collection. Our current research project suggests that this painting did not always look like it doesContinue reading “REDUCED PANEL AND DISAPPEARED FIGURES?”

In search of Rembrandt’s underdrawing

“Since the initiation of the Rembrandt Research Project in the late 1960s, technical study of Rembrandt’s paintings has gained increasing importance in the understanding of his working methods. Examining the artist’s works with dendrochronology, X-radiography and macro photography became the norm complemented by cross-sections of ground and paint layers as well as scientific analysis ofContinue reading “In search of Rembrandt’s underdrawing”

See Brazil without crossing the ocean!

The very recent Dutch publication Brazilië zien zonder de oceaan over te steken. De wandtapijten van Johan Maurits [See Brazil without crossing the ocean. The tapestries of Johan Maurits; bibliographic info below] is a very intriguing and detailed research publication. And especially interesting to a Danish audience as some of the main ‘characters’ constitute theContinue reading “See Brazil without crossing the ocean!”

Collecting Fruits in Madrid

During a trip to Madrid to examine paintings by Rubens and Van Dyck with a colleague at the Prado, interesting discoveries on their panels were made. Some of these findings concern an Antwerp panel maker from around 1600 – about whom more will be published in the forthcoming proceedings from the very successful ‘Symposium XXIContinue reading “Collecting Fruits in Madrid”

Dendro4Art: dendrochronology and art history

The RKD – Netherlands Institute for Art History (The Hague) – and CATS – Centre for Art Technological Studies and Conservation (SMK, Copenhagen) – end of last year launched a new wood research platform, Dendro4Art. This new research tool provides unique dendrochronological research data on panel paintings and wooden sculptures around the world.  This platformContinue reading “Dendro4Art: dendrochronology and art history”

This Girl is up for a dialogue

In 1994, after an interview on the progress of restoring Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring, a Dutch newspaper proclaimed that ‘Jørgen Wadum is in love with her’. Although never so candidly declared from my side, it should be noted that our relationship started much earlier. It may appear predestined, but in the 1960s duringContinue reading “This Girl is up for a dialogue”

Revisiting “Souvenier de Mauve”

Vincent van Gogh’s recent birthday on March 30 (1853-1890) made me recall one of my first hands-on encounters with a van Gogh painting after arriving in The Netherlands in 1990. It was his wonderful spring-painting with Pink Peach Trees in Blossom, also known as Souvenier de Mauve.[1] Painted in Arles at the end of MarchContinue reading “Revisiting “Souvenier de Mauve””

One hundred years ago ‘Johannes Vermeer’ visited Copenhagen

(updated October 2022) The world only has few paintings by “Un celebre Peijntre nommé Verme[e]r”, the Delft artist Johannes Vermeer (1632-1675).[1] Pending on scholarly judgements, just 35 or 36 paintings are preserved, and they are all on display in public museums. Based on his professional career that spanned only twenty-two years, a qualified estimate ofContinue reading “One hundred years ago ‘Johannes Vermeer’ visited Copenhagen”

Who’s hiding 17th century Antwerp Brands?

Without considerable speculation, it is difficult to understand why someone would deliberately want to scratch away evidence of an Antwerp brand on the reverse of a 17th century panel. This is nevertheless what has happened to an oak panel intended for painting but which at some point became used for a marouflage (a technique forContinue reading “Who’s hiding 17th century Antwerp Brands?”

A Star of a panel maker

Was it a star that lead the shepherds to discover a newborn in a stable more than 2000 years ago, then another star is tantalising us on the reverse of Antwerp panel paintings from the 17th century. My first encounter with this particular star, finely crafted with its six points, goes back to 1984 whenContinue reading “A Star of a panel maker”

4/M/M – a North Netherlandish panel maker

Information on the activities of North Netherlandish panel makers is scant. Some evidence on one of these anonymous panel makers is presented below. It will become obvious that a focused research into the organisation and activities of panel makers in the Seven Provinces is urgent. The forthcoming Marks on Art database at the RKD willContinue reading “4/M/M – a North Netherlandish panel maker”

Hans van Haecht, panel maker and art dealer

At the recent October Old Master auction at Dorotheum in Vienna, a Baptism of Christ, oil on panel, 75.5 x 107.5 cm, by Jacob de Backer (Antwerp c. 1555-1585/90) was presented as lot no. 18. The painting is dated to the 1580’s. [1]   On the back is a stamp with what looks like an encircledContinue reading “Hans van Haecht, panel maker and art dealer”

Apostles and panels in the dozens, that’s the rule

The combination of a panel maker’s mark and the Antwerp brand made it possible to deduct that eight out of the eleven panels of the Apostle-series from Van Dyck’s workshop must have been produced as one single batch; all are branded by the assay master from the Guild of St. Luke with the same brandingContinue reading “Apostles and panels in the dozens, that’s the rule”

Guilliam Aertssen’s red chalk monogram

While examining panel paintings from the 16th and 17th centuries all sorts of inscriptions and marks may be encountered on the reverse side. Some of these inscriptions may be very hard to spot or even identify. On the back of a broad single plank of oak, 54 cm across, painted and dated 1609 we discoveredContinue reading “Guilliam Aertssen’s red chalk monogram”