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The Charles Dickens Museum in London reported that it discovered an original portrait of Catherine Dickens, wife of Charles Dickens. In a curious twist, the painting was discovered by X-ray beneath the portrait many believed to be the original. As it turns out, the original painting was extensively over-painted, perhaps after a botched attempt to clean it.
The Museum was gifted the portrait in 1996 and has treasured it for twenty years as one of only two paintings of Catherine in the Museum’s collection.
In May of 2016, however, some gaps in the painting’s provenance were discovered, raising concerns about its authenticity. During cataloging of the Museum’s art holdings, concerns were raised about the way the paint was handled in some places, which seemed amateur. The original painter, Daniel Maclise, was unlikely to have painted in such a manner.
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