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Govert Flinck, Portrait of a Man, Aged Forty-Four, 1637

With his simple black outfit, plain white collar and full, long beard, this 44-year-old man does not particularly observe the fashions of his day. On the basis of his outdated appearance, he is believed to be a Mennonite lay preacher.

The portrait was made by Govert Flinck, one of Rembrandt’s best pupils. Flinck painted it several years after leaving Rembrandt’s studio, but the resemblance to Rembrandt’s portraits is so striking that the work was long attributed to the great master. To make the attribution credible, Flinck’s signature was even rubbed off and replaced with a forged Rembrandt signature.

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