Original Rubens found in Russia
Art experts believe they have uncovered an original work of art by the great baroque painter Peter Paul Rubens in a museum in the Urals, a mountainous region in Russia.
Although it was originally thought to be a copy, conservation work on the painting led specialists to the conclusion that it was anything but. It is “undoubtedly” a genuine Rubens, a revelation that has excited the art world.
It was given the seal of approval by Viktor Korobov, who heads painting restoration at the magnificent Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg. After examining it in detail, he confirmed it to be authentic, although it was probably executed in collaboration with the artist’s pupils.
Entitled Mary Magdalene in mourning with her sister Martha, it was unveiled in all its restored glory in a museum in Irbit, a small town in Sverdlovsk Oblast. Here people can cast their own judgement on the work.
It is assumed that the face of Mary Magdalene and her arms were painted by the Flemish genius, with the rest of the composition, including the entirety of her sister, is thought to have been completed by various students in a workshop.
This painting is considered a variation of another painted by Rubens, which is currently housed in Vienna’s Kunsthistorisches Museum. This was a trait of his, to produce multiple copies of the same work.
It could be that his early training influenced this approach to his own art. When he first began learning his craft, he would often be tasked with copying the work of earlier artists, the idea being that imitation led to enlightenment.
He is quite a novel figure among his contemporaries in that in addition to his artistic responsibilities; he was heavily involved in the politics of the day, serving as a diplomat for various dignitaries.
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