• Cécile Graven

The secret of the Master…(1)

Dear Readers,

today I don’t want to talk about my work but about an art-program on the Dutch tv.

It is the best art-program ever, I think.

I will try to tell you all about it, but I am not sure I do know all the right words for it in English.

It will become a long read, so I will spread it over more blogposts. In between the text I will put pictures about the paintings they have done so far.

The series is called ‘Het geheim van de meester’. The secret of the Master.

In it a team of people investigate what is known about a painting from a famous Dutch painter. Say a Rembrandt, a Vermeer, a Mondriaan, a Breitner, a Jeroen Bosch , a Van Gogh and so on.

The anchor of the show ( I think anchor is the right word) and team-leader is Jasper Krabbé. He is a painter and the son of Jeroen Krabbé, an famous actor and also a painter.

He talks to the bosses of a museum to ask them to lend him the original painting or to allow a paintress to study the painting in off-hours. I will talk about that paintress with the golden touch soon.

Then there is a professor who knows lots and lots about the history of paintings  and the chemistry of paintingmaterials . Professor Dr Joris Dick. In the episode about Breitner for instance he travels to Cambridge to get the secret receipe for a varnish.


9th painting, Breitner, girl in white kimono


Then there is man who knows all about the frame a painting is in, but he is also the one who goes hunting old wood if the original painting is on a wooden panel. His name is Berd Visscher.

To know if the panels he finds are indeed (nearly) as old as the panel of the original he asked an expert in wood to count the yearrings. That expert is in  the Frans Hals episode. His name is Peter Klein.


8th painting. Frans Hals portret of Jacob Zaffius


And a man who knows how to make a new painting looking old and a proffesional restorator and a man who knows how to find things in old archives.

And then , last but certainly not least, there is the paintress, Charlotte Caspers.

This team re-creates a painting of an old Master in a few weeks and then it is brought to a museum and hanged on the wall next to the original painting to be judged by experts.

Sometimes they must be told what is the original and what the copy, so brillantly it is done by the team but especially by Charlotte Caspers.

Here you can see her copy of a painting by Karel Appel:


painting 04 Karel Appel, original and copy


I realy don’t know which is which.

I do hope I have made you curious enough to read more in the second episode of my blog about the secret of the master.

#Breitner #KarelAppel #CharlotteCaspers #reconstruction #oldpaintings #FransHals #DutchMasters #JasperKrabbé #HetgeheimvandeMeester

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