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.
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.