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Who Does this Signature Belong to on my mid century oil painting - Please Help ??

56 posts / 0 new
- 05 Nov 2012

Just got this really cute oil painting - but I just cant place the signature - can anyone help - Please??

The style of the painting I think is like Marcel Drefus - does anyone agree?


- 11 Nov 2012

Ok no response from my post (maybe a bad thing) I like it does any one else ?
I love this painting - and I suppose it's from a artist that is not known - does anyone else agree? Thanks

- 11 Nov 2012

I might suggest
that perhaps a day or two at the local art museum -- or even a intensive 16-week online art history course -- would allow you to make an informed judgement about your "mid-century" painting.

But I'm glad you like it. That puts you in the company of the most-admired art collectors -- as I see it.

- 11 Nov 2012

Thanks for your advice - as a designer I am hoping that I may have a good eye for some things too! Yes is think some type of online course could be of benefit also.

- 11 Nov 2012

Oooh! The good art vs. bad art debate!
I love those! May I start?

The painting in question, while not my cup of tea, does suggest that the artist did, at least, receive some training and I think it is very probably a mid-century piece. To me, it shows a fairly deft hand, a somewhat developed style, and an estabished technique. It wouldn't surprise me at all if this artist had been relatively prolific.

Tang, it's great that you enjoy your picture. I'd suggest putting an appropriate frame on it.

Cabinet de Luxe is having a pricepoint sale. Our prices are dropping permanently as we bring new...
- 11 Nov 2012

Well Thankyou!
Thank you for your comments, I agree that the painting has been done with some skill ie the loose brushstrokes showing great suggested detail and the highlights on the gold earrings and necklace.

There was a gold frame on it but I took the canvas out of it - personally I did not like the frame - what would you suggest?

- 11 Nov 2012

Pertaining to the advice of SDR, I'd like to add that I have learned a lot from art/design textbooks etc. that I have found at a variety of different sources, mainly thrift stores. Education doesn't have to involve tuition. The artisan approach isn't strictly for the uneducated either...but having the willingness to increase the knowledge to discern these things really helps to appreciate various art(s). Balance...

- 11 Nov 2012

The painting
in question exhibits the skills of a competent and experienced commercial illustrator, certainly. The face is symmetrical; the eyes are of the same size and color and point in the same direction; hair is well rendered and the brushwork is confident (above the neck, anyway) and does the intended job. It avoids any of the traits that would distinguish it as the work of an individual with original ideas and something new to say. It might have been made in 1950, or in 1850 or 1750 -- almost.

Perhaps I acquired my thoughts about such things from a parent who was an artist and poet, with a successful if limited career as a painter and printmaker. She was careful to distinguish between one sort of art and another -- though in truth her own work fell somewhere in the middle of the range between Commercial and Fine . . .

- 12 Nov 2012

I suppose
a gilded halo might spruce up this country girl -- but a more honest frame would be made "country style" -- of birch-bark, complete with knots ?

This could easily be an assembly-line painting, destined for those week-end parking-lot sales where you can get a "sofa-sized" oil for $69.95. The "hair girl" on this one was good, while the "dress person" and the "jewelry guy" were so-so. If the "face painter" was out sick, the whole operation ground to a halt . . .

- 12 Nov 2012

"Skilled", yes.... but at what?
My sense is that this artist probably cranked out way too many of this very same portrait. (Substituting stylized oversized eyes for more carefully observed ones, etc.)

While the painting does have the flavor and the look of illustration of the time that it was produced in, I would not expect to find this artist in a museum.

Skill is indeed evident, but to a large degree, this artist was clearly painting for a market, going for a generic "look" rather than investigating anything of substance in a truly artful way.

Just my narrow opinion of course. Feel free to disagree. Thats half the reason for Art after all...

In fact, I wish the painting were a bit uglier or had half an once of EDGE to it.

- 12 Nov 2012

Please, no gold.
Maybe a hint of disressed gilding on a liner, but I think a simple period scoop style moulding, not too wide, in combed or brushed limed oak or chestnut would do nicely.

I do agree with Mark, though, that the reverse sides of canvas paintings often offer more clues as to period and origin than the face sides will.

My guess is that the picture was hand-done as part of a large wholesale commission intended for the American mass market possibly in Europe or South America sometime in the 50's-'70's.

- 12 Nov 2012

The back of the painting
Thanks for all your comments - here's some pics of the back of the canvas - I got it in the UK but I agree it has an American style of the 1950s.

- 12 Nov 2012

Well, the back doesn't tell us much.
Seeing the tack edge might help a little, but here's what I've got:

Primed cotton duck canvas stretched on a simple pine or fir strainer marked with a tracking number in graphite pencil mounted with a common brass-plated steel D-ring hangar.

Overall, I would call the condition "good".

The "1" in the number hints at foreign origin.

Please note that I've refrained from offering any critical opinion as to the artistic merit of your painting here. To me, - and I've said this before on this forum - there is no "bad" or "good" art. There is only art that you like and art that you don't. If you find the response that your painting evokes from you to be pleasurable, that's all that matters.

Now, if you happen across a painting that everyone else likes, too, then you're really on to something special!

- 12 Nov 2012

Pre-primed canvas.
Blue upholstery tacks.

The materials and construction of your painting are quite common and inconclusive as to region of origin. Sometimes these things were shipped unstretched to save costs and then stretched as needed for the local market. Yours appears to remain on its original strainer.

Sorry, I really can't offer much beyond that.

- 12 Nov 2012

It's Veteran's Day here today, Mr. Ado.
Somehow your portrait seems appropos.

And I quite like it regardless. Successful portraiture is rare because it's so very difficult to accomplish.

- 12 Nov 2012

That could
possibly be the first oil painting of a man boob that I've seen. Well done.

- 12 Nov 2012

Good technique
Yes the technique is good BUT he looks very sad... I prefer my little gypsy girl with the gold earrings!

- 12 Nov 2012

I much prefer Toms lugubrious old man with flabby tits to the OP painting, sorry Tangletree.

- 13 Nov 2012

Much Better!
I prefer the one-armed man too. Thanks Jim!

I do feel fairly convinced that this painter was at least aiming higher, for better or worse, taste aside. There is a directness and honesty that I like much more, and the artist makes some real choices with arrangement of space, and does their best to get beyond the usual "head in the middle of the rectangle" composition problem that makes many portraits so bland and predictable.

Tell your student friend to keep up the good work! (Or is this one of yours from way back? LOL) Just kidding but you never know...

This looks like a guy I know too... but his name is Dave.

There is more to a good portrait than flattery, and this painting makes a good argument for that, in my opinion.

- 13 Nov 2012

Julian Freud wanna-be ?

If we're gonna chat about art (painting), maybe we could stick to the subject at hand ?

The ready-to-hang stretcher painting in the OP certainly seems to scream "commercial art" to me. The paint was clearly applied to the canvas prior to mounting on the current stretcher (as tktoo suggests) -- with framing, if any, at the discretion of the dealer or the purchaser. Wouldn't you love to know when and where this was made -- and sold ?

There's a south-of-the-border heritage evident in the subject matter. Could this have been produced in a "factory" in Amsterdam or Brussels (for instance), for sale in Acapulco ?

- 13 Nov 2012

Perfect for a psychiatrist's waiting room.
Or, maybe not...

- 13 Nov 2012

The gypsy girl was purchased in the UK, at auction - would love to know its history too - thanks to everyone who has commented

- 14 Nov 2012

SDR.. Do you mean ....
Lucien Freud?

And yeah, I agree, the original painting discussed is right off the assembly line.

Its hard to give a hoot about the look on her face when its clearly a cookie cutter deal, ya know?

Yeah Mark, "John Wayne" is the only way to save this painting.

- 14 Nov 2012

Thanks, Eames
No, I meant Lucien's less talented but equally depressing brother, Julian. You know -- like Picasso's cousin Georges ? The one who really invented the Keane kids's'n'kittens . . . ?

By the way, the Museum of Bad Art offers free subscriptions. I had one, but lost it when I insisted on paying . . .

- 14 Nov 2012

Woody, your portrait is kind of creepy in a sweet way.
I'd name him probably Gypsy, or John Wayne if he were mine.



- 14 Nov 2012

Can you see any resemblance?

- 14 Nov 2012

oops woodywood and tktoo
Sorry for my mistake Woody... I attributed your "psychiatrist's office" face painting painting to tktoo... neither of you complained, but sorry anyway.

I didn't know about Julian, but I have heard about the MOBA...

Mark, I guess everybody has a "John Wayne and Child" painting?

- 14 Nov 2012

No problem
Would love to visit the MOBA in person someday.

- 14 Nov 2012

I've heard there's some good art there.

- 14 Nov 2012

Someone has STOLEN my painting!!!
Believe it or not - And I am dumb founded that someone has had the nerve to steal this painting of the "Gypsy Girl" from my showroom!!! I could not make it up even if I wanted too, not as if she was the Mona Lisa!!

I am so furious that someone has come in and just taken it. So I suppose someone must have liked it or thought its worth a lot of money!

Hope this does not happen to people often.

signing off from a very sad Tangletree

- 14 Nov 2012

Tang, I am so sorry to hear about Gypsy.
how sad.



- 14 Nov 2012

ps. Tang,

Perhaps you are dumb founded, not dump founded. I happen to be both.


Aunt Mark

Cabinet de Luxe is having a pricepoint sale. Our prices are dropping permanently as we bring new...
- 14 Nov 2012

Yes yes I'm dumb founded! Not dump
Yes yes I'm dumb founded! Not dump - mmmm

Sorry so wound up i did not check my typing for typos

Police coming tomorrow - I must say I am being serious and this is not a Micky take!

Best regards Andrea (Tangletree)

- 15 Nov 2012

Sorry for your loss T...
But now this raises an an interesting question as to the monetary value of this painting... For the police record of course.

I would put it at right around $325,000.

- 15 Nov 2012

My guess is that the Gypsy girl
ran off with the one-armed grump.

- 15 Nov 2012

Police came and took a statement
Lovely PC came and took a statement - I am hoping that CCTV in the city centre will help catch the person! Told them the value of the painting was £199, they are also taking finger prints so heres hoping we get the *****. CSI Newcastle upon Tyne !


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