Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-1669), Sketch for The Knight with the Falcon, known as "The Crusader", 1659-1661
In 1911 the Rembrandt connoisseur and then director of Statens Museum for Kunst, Karl Madsen, found The Crusader in a remote corner of Fredensborg Castle where it had been placed in temporary storage.
Despite Karl Madsen's evident enthusiasm for the painting, its status was soon called into question, and in 1969 it was rejected as a Rembrandt.
Studies of the artwork
The most recent studies now tell us that the painting is a sketch for The Knight with the Falcon (Göteborgs Konstmuseum). X-rays support this assumption by demonstrating that the underlying layers of paint are built up in a manner typical of Rembrandt.
Style and technique
The piece presumably depicts the Dutch Saint Bavo, and the painting has the convincing oscillation between the precise and the spontaneous that is so typical of Rembrandt. At the same time it exemplifies the pastose manner of painting characteristic of the artist's late work. There are, however, some signs to suggest that parts of the painting were done by one of Rembrandt's students, a common practice at the master's workshop.