CODART, Dutch and Flemish art in museums worldwide

Painting in the Nationalmuseum Stockholm Attributed to Carel Fabritius

A painting in the collection of the Nationalmuseum Stockholm has been attributed to Carel Fabritius by curator and CODART member Carina Fryklund. Fryklund studied the painting with conservator Lena Dahlén and recently published their research in the Art Bulletin of the Nationalmuseum.

Attributed to Carel Fabritius (1622-1654), A Young Student at his Desk, 1642-43
Nationalmuseum, Stockholm

The painting depicts a young man sitting at a desk, glancing up briefly from a book. It was painted around 1642-43, when Fabritius studied with Rembrandt.

Stylistically, the painting shows strong similarities to other portraits by Fabritius, such as the self-portrait in the Alte Pinakothek, among others. In addition, material-technical research has shown that the composition of the ground corresponds to that of the Raising of Lazarus (Warsaw), a painting by Fabritius from the same period.

Very few paintings by the seventeenth-century artist are known. If this painting is indeed by Fabritius, it would be an important addition to his oeuvre.

The portrait has been part of the Nationalmuseum’s collection since 2012. How the work came to Sweden is unclear. It was first recorded in the collection of the Swedish collector Pär Ulmgren (1767–1846).

The painting is currently undergoing conservation treatment and will not be on public display during the upcoming CODART congress in Stockholm (16-18 June).

The article can be downloaded from the Nationalmuseum website (PDF, 18 MB).