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Hidden Signature Found with IR on Newly Discovered 1910 Painting by California Impressionist Guy Rose
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Hidden Signature Found with IR on Newly Discovered 1910 Painting by California Impressionist Guy Rose


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Surprising discovery! See photos and videos of inspecting a painting with IR and UV.

Surprising discovery! See photos and videos of inspecting a painting with IR and UV.

Published in: Design

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  • 1. Hidden  Signature  Found  with  IR  on  Newly  Discovered  1910  Painting  by   California  Impressionist  Guy  Rose     A painting of French Haystacks done about 1910 by the California Impressionist master painter Guy Rose, that hasn't been seen since about 1935, walked into my lab today for an examination. The painting was in a private collection that, a couple of months ago, has passed to heirs... who admit they don't know anything about art and are not collectors. But they know that due diligence is part of the background work as they settle the estate so they called me to give the painting a thorough look over. I pulled it out of its frame for the first time since it was framed (presumably in the 1930s) to make sure that a signature wasn't hid by the rabbet... but no signature. Then we looked at it with ultraviolet visible fluorescence and saw that it has never been touched. This is a common diagnostic tool utilized in art conservation laboratories and is essential due diligence for art collectors, dealers and curators when inspecting artwork. The techniques and equipment can be learned and utilized by anyone. For more on using a UV light to see previous restorations click on this link. The painting has a bit of grime but is otherwise in very good original condition. Just for the sake of not leaving any stone unturned, we decided to look at the painting with the infrared reflectometer. I believe that this is the only infrared unit available to collectors (not in institutional labs) this side of Chicago. For more on this technique click on this link. We were surprised and pleased to find that there WAS a signature in the lower right corner! Evidently, Rose had painted the picture and signed it... then later reworked the painting canceling out the signature. I've seen it happen many times. The last painting in my lab that had
  • 2. this situation was an Edgar Payne where the mountain scene had been changed substantially. This particular signature is not as clear or easy to see as other signatures that I have discovered over the years but here are the two photos of the IR screen. The "G" and the top of the "R" are missing because of the thickness of the paint. The photo on the right has the signature reinforced so you can see it. Of course the "s" is also not very well defined but you can see that it says "Guy Rose." The style of the signature is often distorted with IR viewing. The painting you see with your natural eyes is unsigned but on the back is a label written by Orrin White outlining a bio of Guy Rose and there is the estate stamp with Earl Stendahl and the written authentication by Ethel that this painting was by her husband. Because of the extensive documentation on the back of the painting (and also because of the painting technique of the brushwork and palette), I don't think there is any doubt that Guy Rose painted this picture so the revealed hidden signature may not add any value but it certainly adds a detail of interest and of confirmation. So, that’s about it. Reporting to you from Fine Art Conservation Laboratories (FACL)... its all in a day's work Scott M. Haskins, 805 564 3438 The infrared reflectometer