Art: A Masterpiece in Disguise

Looking as if he wanted to break into a dance and a cheer, the Detroit Institute of Arts' Director Edgar P. Richardson peered through his rimless glasses at a press conference one day last week and announced: "I am about to tell the success story of a picture." What precise, soft-spoken Dr. Richardson had to tell was news indeed. The small (only 8 ¼-in. by 5 ¼in.) painting that the museum had bought in 1925 for $18,000 had at last been identified. Its painter: Jan van Eyck, one of the most highly valued Flemish artists. "There is no longer any question,"...

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