Tag Archives: Artist Identification

Portrait of an Unknown Gentleman

Portrait of an Unknown Gentleman “Who was the artist?” the owners wanted to know.  The Portrait of an Unknown Gentleman was an especially hard project because the painting had little provenance. The owners purchased the portrait in Wisconsin at auction.  The estate may … Continue reading

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The Mystery of Five Family Portraits: III

Introduction The third of the five family portraits depicted Judge Lewis Penn Witherspoon Balch (1787-1868). His grandson would marry a granddaughter of Julia Anna Marion Prosser (Mrs. Richard Bland Lee II) (1805-1886). Subject Balch was born on July 31, 1787, in Georgetown, … Continue reading

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Introduction The second of five family portraits in search of an artist was Woman in Red. The owner thought the subject might be Elizabeth (Eliza) Collins Lee (1768-1858). The first step toward learning the name of the artist and the subject was to find … Continue reading

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The Mysterious Mrs. Arundel(s)

A signed and notarized letter dictated by the subject’s granddaughter had been passed down through a family. It began, “Portrait by Sully.” But a Christie’s appraiser and staff at two different Manhattan, New York, galleries said Thomas Sully (1783-1872) was not the artist. They offered no … Continue reading

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Discovering History through Art: A British Portrait

Introduction Fine Art Investigations evolved from the belief that art connects us to the truth better than the written word. Discovering history through art is the passion; identifying portrait artists is the by-product. A while ago, I had the opportunity … Continue reading

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An Opera Singer’s Digestion and an Art Bully’s Tactics

George L. Stout, conservator with Harvard’s Fogg Museum of Art in the 1920s, first articulated the three-legged stool approach to art authentication when connoisseurship alone was the standard. Questioning a connoisseur’s opinion, “was as naughty as inquiring about the digestive … Continue reading

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Another Conant?

Not long after we completed our work on Alban Jasper Conant with the Portrait of Woman of Strong Character, an art collector asked me to determine if a portrait of two children could be the lost painting, “Group, Two Young Girls,” 1839/40, by George … Continue reading

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Who Was Alban Jasper Conant?

Alban Jasper Conant, the artist of Woman of Strong Character, was a triple A polymath – an artist, an archaeologist, and an anthropologist. As an artist, he painted a president, a war hero, judges, legislators, and members of prominent families. His … Continue reading

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