When Joris Dik said, “Well, looking with x-rays is like looking with a candle in the dark but my new technique makes it much more visible.” Well, I was a bit skeptical.
Ernst van de Wetering, PhD (born 1938) is a Dutch art historian, and is considered the world’s foremost expert on Rembrandt and his work.
Ernst van de Wetering was first trained as an artist himself at the (Dutch) Royal Academy of Fine Arts in The Hague. He received his doctorate in art history from the University of Amsterdam. Since 1968, he has been a member, and is now chairman, of the Rembrandt Research Project. He was art historian on the staff at Amsterdam’s Central Research Laboratory for Restoration from 1969 to 1987 and, since 1987, has been a full professor of art history at the University of Amsterdam. Van de Wetering has published extensively on historic painting techniques, as well as in the field of theory and ethics of conservation and restoration.
In 1990, he succeeded Josua Bruyn as chair of the Rembrandt Research Project: the team of scholars that were put in charge by the Dutch Government charged of uncovering Rembrandt’s complete oeuvre in museums and collections around the world. They were responsible for authenticating all of the works and, when needed, conserving the paintings.
As of 2011, the project has published five volumes on Rembrandt’s work The Corpus of Rembrandt Vols. I-V, including all of the known Rembrandts and the wide variety of techniques used by the painter in his work.
Today van de Wetering tours around the world and lectures on a lifetime of pursuing and analyzing one of the greatest artists the world has ever known.
Watch Dr. Ernst van de Wetering in the behind-the-scenes video Rembrandt’s Hidden Self Portrait.