Gold chip

Gold at left edge of Paul van Somer’s Young Girl, seen at 25 x magnification

The overpainted gold layer was found not only through paint sample microscopy but also through microscopic examination of the surface.

The gilding found through microscopic study suggests that the original oval surrounding the young girl was originally created with gold leaf. This finding connects A Young Girl with several contemporaneous works that have retained their gold ovals, raising the possibility that they were all created by the same artist. A reconstruction, pictured here, displays a rendering of the portrait as it might have looked when the gold oval was intact.

Simulated gold layer