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The Rembrandt Research Project has produced the most radical debunking of artistic authorship ever. Do we now accept that the studio is greater than the artist?

By Ben Lewis   April 2006

When is a self-portrait not a self-portrait? When it’s not painted by its subject, you might be tempted to answer. But you’d be wrong. According to the latest findings of the Rembrandt Research Project, half of Rembrandt’s self-portraits were not by Rembrandt. Aside from presenting the mind with an amusing semantic puzzle, the idea of a self-portrait painted by a third party lights the fuse of a stick of art history dynamite. But it’s not clear quite what will be demolished in the explosion.

The Rembrandt Research Project (RRP) is one of the most august and long-standing art history investigations…

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