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Johannes Edvardsson

Johannes Edvardsson


Johannes Edvardsson

The rediscovery of an Adoration of the Shepherds by Jacques Jordaens: : a multidisciplinary approach combining dendroarchaeology and art history


  • Johannes Edvardsson
  • Andrea Seim
  • Justin Davies
  • Joost Vander Auwera

Summary, in English

The implementation of multidisciplinary research approaches is an essential prerequisite to obtain comprehensive insights into the life and works of the old masters and their timeline in the production of the arts. In this study, traditional art history, cultural heritage, and natural science methods were combined to shed light on an Adoration of the Shepherds painting by Jacques Jordaens (1593–1678), which until now had been considered as a copy. From dendrochronological analysis of the wooden support, it was concluded that the planks in the panel painting were made from Baltic oak trees felled after 1608. An independent dating based on the panel maker’s mark, and the guild’s quality control marks suggests a production period of the panel between 1617 and 1627. Furthermore, the size of the panel corresponds to the dimension known as salvator, which was commonly used for religious paintings during the period 1615 to 1621. Finally, the interpretation of the stylistic elements of the painting suggests that it was made by Jordaens between 1616 and 1618. To conclude, from the synthesis of: (i) dendrochronological analysis, (ii) panel makers’ punch mark and Antwerp Guild brand marks, (iii) re-examination of secondary sources, and (iv) stylistic comparisons to other Jordaens paintings, we suggest that the examined Adoration of the Shepherds should be considered as an original by Jordaens and likely painted in the period 1617–1618. The study is a striking example of the effectiveness of a multidisciplinary approach to investigate panel paintings.


  • Quaternary Sciences

Publishing year





Heritage Science





Document type

Journal article


BioMed Central (BMC)


  • Art History
  • Geology


  • Multidisciplinary art studies
  • Dendrochronology
  • Baltic oak
  • Flemish seventeenth century art
  • Jacques Jordaens
  • Panel painting




  • ISSN: 2050-7445