Rembrandt is the most famous of the seventeenth-century Dutch painters. However, there are doubts whether some paintings attributed to Rembrandt were actually painted by him. One such painting is known as attributed to Rembrandt because of its style, and indeed the representation of the woman’s face is very much like that of portraits known to be by Rembrandt. But there are problems with the painting that suggest it could not be a work by Rembrandt.
First, there is something inconsistent about the way the woman in the portrait is dressed. She is wearing a white linen cap of a kind that only servants would wear-yet the coat she is wearing has a luxurious fur collar that no servant could afford. Rembrandt, who was known for his attention to the details of his subjects’ clothing, would not have been guilty of such an inconsistency.
Second, Rembrandt was a master of painting light and shadow, but in this painting these elements do not fit together. The face appears to be illuminated by light reflected onto it from below. But below the face is the dark fur collar, which would absorb light rather than reflect it. So the face should appear partially in shadow-which is not how it appears. Rembrandt would never have made such an error.
Finally, examination of the back of the painting reveals that it was painted on a panel made of several pieces of wood glued together. Although Rembrandt often painted on wood panels, no painting known to be by Rembrandt uses a panel glued together in this way from several pieces of wood.
For these reasons the painting was removed from the official catalog of Rembrandt’s paintings in the 1930s.
Everything you just read about "Portrait of an Elderly Woman in a White Bonnet" is true, and yet after a thorough re-examination of the painting, a panel of experts has recently concluded that it's indeed a work by Rembrandt. Here is why.
First, the fur collar. X-rays and analysis of the pigments in the paint have shown that the fur collar wasn't part of the original painting. The fur collar was painted over the top of the original painting about a hundred years after the painting was made. Why? Someone probably wanted to increase the value of the painting by making it look like a formal portrait of an aristocratic lady.
Second, the supposed error with light and shadow. Once the paint of the added fur color was removed, the original could be seen, in the original painting, the woman is wearing a simple collar of light-colored cloth. The light-colored cloth of this collar reflects light that illuminates part of the woman's face. That's why the face is not in partial shadow. So in the original painting, light and shadow are very realistic and just what we would expect from Rembrandt.
Finally, the wood panel. It turns out that when the fur collar was added, the wood panel was also enlarged with extra wood pieces glued to the sides and the top to make the painting more grand and more valuable. So the original painting is actually painted on a single piece of wood, as would be expected from a Rembrandt painting. And in fact, researchers have found that the piece of wood in the original form of "Portrait of an Elderly Woman in a White Bonnet" is from the very same tree as the wood panel used for another painting by Rembrandt, his "Self-portrait with a Hat".
Main points: Problems with painting suggest it is Rembrandt’s work.
Sub point 1: Inconsistent about woman’s dress.
Sub point 2: Light and shadow do not fit toghther.
Sub point 3: The painting is on a panel made of several pieces.
Attitude: A re-examination shows the painting is true.
Sub Point 1: X-rays shows fur collar painted 100 years later.
Sub Point 2: Original painting’s light and shadow are realistic.
Sub Point 3: Original is painted on 1 piece of wood. (Wood from very same tree used by Rembrandt.)
The lecture revises the idea presented in the text, that Rembrandt was not the artist who painted the famous painting “Portrait of an Elderly Woman in a White Bonnet.”
The inconsistency between the white cap, which identifies the woman as a servant, and the expensive fur collar she wears dissolves as the professor explains that the fur collar was apparently painted over Rembrandt’s original in order to increase its worth by displaying an aristocratic woman.
在第一点white cap和collar的解释上，作者复述到虽然white cap证明这位妇女是一名仆人，不可能拥有一条昂贵的毛领，随后L解释道这是后人故意画上去来增加价值的。
In addition, the assumption that the light and shadows in the painting do not fit together is refuted by the fact that in the original painting the woman wears a light cloth that illuminated her face. Thus, the presentation of light and shadow was indeed very realistic and accurate, as it is characteristic of Rembrandt’s paintings.
Finally, the mystery of the panel consisting of patches glued together is also solved in the lecture. The wood panel was actually later enlarged to make it more grand in size and hence more valuable, but the original painting was painted on a single panel, as Rembrandt would have done. Furthermore, the wood was found to be made from the same tree Rembrandt used in many of his other paintings, like the “Self-Portrait with a Hat.”
All this information serves to support the argument that Rembrandt was the painter of this controversial work.
1. Revise： 校订，修改
We always have to revise our previous work and that way it gives us a great score.
2. Thus: 因此
He forgot to turn on the radio and thus missed the program.