Mauritshuis museum rediscovers Jan Steen painting

Conservation expert Sabrina Meloni from the Mauritshuis examines ‘The Mocking of Samson’ from the collection of the Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp. © Mauritshuis Den Haag, photographer: Ivo Hoekstra

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) – A Dutch museum says a painting previously thought to be an 18th-century copy of a work by artist Jan Steen is actually an original by the Dutch master.

The discovery was announced Friday by the Mauritshuis museum in The Hague.

The museum’s director, Emilie Gordenker, says after research, restoration and a technical examination, “we have come to the conclusion that not only is this painting by the master himself, but that it is still in excellent condition. It’s as if the canvas is fresh out of Jan Steen’s studio – thrilling!”

The painting, The Mocking of Samson, is part of the Royal Museum of Fine Arts collection in the Belgian city of Antwerp. It’s to be displayed at an exhibition “Jan Steen’s Histories,” that starts Feb. 15 at the Mauritshuis.
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