This portrait of Anthony van Dyck, a 17th century Flemish artist, is believed to be by his one-time teacher, Peter Paul Rubens. However, research into its style and composition is suggesting that it might have been painted by van Dyck himself.
Art historians have studied this portrait using a range of tools and techniques. Historical manuscripts, chemical analysis of the paint and even CAT scans all point to van Dyck as the artist. New 3D scans using Minidome technology support this theory.
When viewed in 3D, the brushstrokes on the painting are thrown into relief and can be seen in greater detail. It is even possible to see where some areas have been reworked – a signature style of Van Dyck, who would build his paintings in layers as he rethought his composition and technique. Rubens, by contrast, would paint to a definite plan.
The 3D scans lend weight to the growing opinion that this painting is a self-portrait, and present 3D technology as a new tool in the study of fine art.