Monday, 18 June 2018

I can't decipher the signatures on these charity shop finds...

I just bought these two paintings in my local charity shop, and I'm very happy with them. Normally, flower paintings one finds in such shops or at car boot sales are true amateur work, often awful, sometimes acceptable, but never of any real quality. This time though, I found two true gems, probably French from the late 19th century or early 20th one.

Oh, and I'm a really lousy art photographer, I'll try to make better pictures later (when the sun sits out perhaps). I hope they give an idea of the actual colours and quality anyway. 

Oil on panel (good hard wood, not some cardboard!), some 30 by 40cm (I haven't really measured them), with very luminous colours and the typical loose brush strokes one links to Impressionism. But these loose strokes hide a high degree of precision and eye for detail, which for me sets these apart from most such works. Plus the wonderful colours, and the more unusual wintery theme of one of the two works (which I presume were intended as pendants right from the start).

The style is close to the work of e.g. Fantin-Latour, or especially the works of Georges Jeannin (1841-1925), but it is not really of the same quality probably (I have found that it is much harder to judge a painting one has bought, than a random painting at auction). Both panels are signed (by the same artist), but no matter how hard I try, I can't decipher them.The name is close to Jeannin, but the signature is not the same as the one Jeannin seems to have used throughout his career.

It seems to be something like "F" or "J" (first name initial), and then "J" or "M" or something like that, "". Not "Janssens", I think, as I believe that there is more than one letter between the "a" and the "ss".

I'm not certain of any of these letters, so please don't feel bound by them when looking for a name.

Any further information, guesses, thoughts about country, period, artist, and value are welcome of course, you get my eternal gratitude in return. Oh, and if you don't like them and think I overrate them, then please tell me so as well, a reality check is a good thing.

Oh, and as a bonus, this is what I found when I removed the two paintings from the frames in which they came, but which clearly didn't belong with them: two 18th century engravings by Claude-Dominic Vinsac (1749-1800), from his series of designs for goldsmiths. My copy of one of them is actually in better condition than the one in the Rijksmuseum! Basically, these two engravings plus their frames are worth more than what I payed for the paintings in the first place...

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