Läänelaid, A. and Nurkse, A. 2006. Dating of a 17th Century Painting by Tree Rings of Baltic Oak. Baltic Forestry, 12 (1): 117-121

Tree rings of an oak (Quercus robur L.) panel with painting of the Dutch Hans van Essen, a ’Still life with a lobster’, established the period of origin of that piece of art deposited in the Estonian Art Museum in Tallinn. The ring width sequence was compared with Baltic oak tree-ring chronologies by T. Wazny and J. Hillam and I. Tyers. These references gave the last annual ring of the painted panel to be from AD 1600. High similarity of the tree–ring series shows that the oak of the panel is of Baltic origin. The outermost rings of the oak tree, including the sapwood, have been cut off. The approximate number of sapwood rings of oaks is known. It points the probable painting time between AD 1617 and 1623. This dating fits into the life years of Hans van Essen (1587 or 1589 to 1642 or 1648).

Key words: annual rings,oak panel,H. van Essen, painting, 17th century, dendrochronological dating