When Experts X-Rayed This 16th-Century Painting, The Face Of An Infamous Queen Lay Hidden Beneath

Dr. Caroline Rae of London’s prestigious Courtauld Institute of Art was conducting research into a 16th-century portrait by Adrian Vanson. It was a painting of a notable Scottish figure, Lord Chancellor Sir John Maitland. One of the techniques Rae used involved advanced x-ray technology. And what she found under the painting of Maitland has astonished the art world.

Adrian Vanson, whose work is seen here in this 1585 portrait of the Scottish king James VI, was probably born in modern-day Holland. Vanson was appointed King’s Painter in 1584, with an annual payment of £100, a handsome sum at the time. In this role, he went on to paint many members of the Scottish aristocracy.

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