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I count myself exceedingly fortunate in being born into a small time bracket when there was still the possibility of gaining an art training in observation (at Camberwell, where art history was still taught by the same bright staff who taught in the studios). Fortunate also that my schooling before that was scientifically oriented and most of all fortunate to have lived long enough to see the arrival of the internet and Kindle. Because without that fortune my talent as a detective would have been entirely wasted.

The bare bones of this book were published as an article in the Burlington Magazine (Feb.1977) thanks to the forceful intervention of Prof. Sir Ernst Gombrich. Since when I have spent a lot of time and money trying to get my “heresies” heard but to no avail. Even with the use of the internet since 1998, my work has continued to be neglected.

I am fortunate again that my livelihood did not depend on my talent for detection. As a sculptor and a teacher I managed to get by in Britain and having emigrated to Italy where Rembrandt is no big issue, even find myself honoured in my old age with a personal museum in Casole d’Elsa, near Siena.

My gift has led me to other discoveries in the field of art history. Most notable among them and probably as important as the Rembrandt, is the use of life-casting in ancient Greek sculpture. As part of the same research I discovered two great chimneys which were used by Phidias and those who came after him, for melting bronze. These findings were published in the Oxford Journal of Archaeology (2002-3) with the help of Herbert Hoffmann. But again not a ripple of interest from the professionals in the field. My discoveries, however appreciated by the layman earn me nothing but enemies within the profession. My unpopularity with them has probably hampered my capacity to earn as a sculptor.

We constantly hear of our freedom of speech here in the free-world but that does not mean we get heard. I have run my own art school, lectured, published three newspapers and several articles; on the occasion of the exhibition Rembrandt and his Workshop I demonstrated in Trafalgar Square, put on my own exhibition in St Martins in the Field and tried to intervene in a symposium in The National Gallery but the big debate as to whether Rembrandt was an inventor or an observer was always crudely drowned out by the many petty differences between the experts.

Those at the top of Rembrandt scholarship have demonstrated their power to stifle debate. We are used to condoning intransigence among theologians but for historians to stifle debate and turn their backs on evidence that others have found “compels assent” is quite another thing.

A public outcry is necessary if this evidence is not to be buried with me. Please spread the word and vote one way or the other. 

Next: Note on the Illustrators