Hidden whale revealed in nearly 400-year-old Dutch painting

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Hidden Whale Revealed in Nearly 400-Year-Old Dutch Painting


A 400 year-old mystery within Dutch artist Henrik von Athonissen's famous painting is solved as British art restorers discover that there used to be a beached whale right in the middle of the painting.
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Hidden whale revealed in nearly 400-year-old Dutch painting
Cambridge BuildingsCambridge, Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom, Architect: N/A, 2010, Front Sculpture Garden At The Fitzwilliam Museum (Photo by View Pictures/UIG via Getty Images)
Cambridge BuildingsCambridge, Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom, Architect: N/A, 2010, Front Elevation Of Fitzwilliam Museum (Photo by View Pictures/UIG via Getty Images)
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The painting, titled "View of Scheveningen Sands," was painted by Henrik von Anthonissen around 1641 and is a part of the Fitzwilliam Museum's collection at Cambridge University in the UK.

Postdoctoral student Shan Kuang began restoring it by first removing the yellowing protective varnish. "That's when a figure started appearing, standing directly on the horizon line," Shan explained.

Layers of paint were removed to reveal a large beached whale, transforming the painting from one of an idyllic ocean scene to a depiction of what would be a major news event for any town.

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