In 2010, after intensive research, Ernst van de Wetering of the Rembrandt Research Project attributed the work ‘Tobit and Anna’ from the museum’s collection to the oeuvre of Rembrandt. Curator Jeroen Giltaij had already subjected the work to a thorough study in 1994 and, at the time, attributed it to “at most” one of Rembrandt’s pupils. From March 2012 the discussion between these two Rembrandt experts could be followed in Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen.
The arguments on whether the painting ‘Tobit and Anna’ is by Rembrandt or not diverge considerably. The most important reason why Ernst van de Wetering attributes the work to Rembrandt concerns the changing incidence of light: the x-ray photo of the work shows that initially the painting included a window, but this was later painted over. According to the researcher, the old master would frequently ‘mess about’ with the light.
Jeroen Giltaij bases his argument mainly on the recycling of the panel on which the work is painted. The x-ray reveals that ‘Tobit and Anna’ was painted over a still life. According to the curator, Rembrandt would never paint over an existing painting.
Both Jeroen Giltaij and Ernst van de Wetering explain these and other arguments on video. The videos could be seen in hall 2, together with the ‘evidence’ that each put forward. This evidence included the work itself, x-ray photographs, an infra-red reflectogram and detailed photographs of a paint sample.