19th Century: Fake

Portrait of Edward VI (17th Century)     Portrait of Edward VI - radiograph

Originally believed to be a contemporaneous portrait of Edward VI of England (1537-53), this painting was revealed to be a fake when X-rays showed the image of an anonymous Dutch girl hiding behind the boy king. Her clothing suggests that her portrait was painted around 1615, and for a time the overpainting of Edward was dated to the 17th century. In 1990, however, Prussian Blue paint was detected in the paintinga compound first produced in Germany in 1704as well as bronze paint, which was not generally available until 1845. The portrait of Edward can thus be dated to the second half of the 19th century.

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