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Reattributed Van Dyck painting to go up for auction

14th June 2011

A painting originally attributed to Peter Paul Rubens but later found to be created by his one-time apprentice, Anthony van Dyck, is to go up for auction.

Portrait of a Carmelite Monk, which has been in the possession of a French family for over 200 years, was for most of that time referred to as 'Confesseur de Rubens', as they believed it to have been created by the Flemish baroque artist.

However, analysis carried out by experts recently discovered the portrait had far more in common with the style of Rubens' pupil, Van Dyck, and is believed to have been painted around 1620.

George Gordon, a spokesman for Sotheby's, where the painting will be auctioned on July 6th, said the brushwork was more characteristic of Van Dyck, as well as the posture of the monk, with his head turned slightly to the side.

'This is a very exciting discovery and a painting of really extraordinary quality and visceral power,' Mr Gordon explained.

Next month, Christie's in London will auction a rare sketch sheet produced by Michelangelo relating to the Battle of Causcina, which was the basis of a fresco the artist had been commissioned to create in 1504.

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