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Surprising Revelations

Close examination of objects in the Royal Collection reveals unexpected details

Pieter Brueghel the Elder, The Massacre of the Innocents, c.1565-7

Close examination of objects in the Royal Collection occasionally reveals new and unexpected details, such as concealed mechanisms or an artist’s early ideas which survive as traces beneath the finished work. From hidden portraits and lucky tokens, to pop-up figures and lumbering elephants, this trail describes some of the surprising discoveries Royal Collection Trust conservators and curators have made while studying works from the Collection.

Mikhail Perkhin (1860-1903)

Elephant automaton

Jean-Étienne Liotard (1702-89)

Edward Augustus, Duke of York (1739-1767)

Pieter Bruegel the Elder (c. 1525-1569)

Massacre of the Innocents

Leonardo da Vinci (Vinci 1452-Amboise 1519)

Studies of hands

Rosalba Giovanna Carriera (Venice 1675-Venice 1757)

A Personification of Winter

Giovanni Bellini (c. 1430-1516)

The head of an old bearded man