Imaging technology reveals hidden secrets of Dutch Golden Age paintings
New algorithm, developed by scientists at the National Gallery of Art, precisely aligns layered images to reveal compositional differences
The Dutch Golden Age artist Pieter Jansz Saenredam (1597-1665) had a Medieval tale about a knight, a magical horse, a tyrannical emperor, brotherly love and the Crusades on his mind when he created The Choir of the Saint Bavo in Haarlem (1636).
This new information is only known because infrared reflectography (IRR) was used to peek beneath the paint layers to see the original drawing hidden underneath. In Saenredam’s drawing, a sketch of four men sitting on a horse is drawn on the left pillar. The graffiti, a scene from the poem of the Aymon of Dordogne, is not in the painting. And the artist’s signature, which had been written under the carefully drawn doodle, was moved to the base of the right pillar in the finished composition. ~ Emily Sharpe via The Art Newspaper