What is this painting?
January 7, 2007 3:27 AM   Subscribe

Can anybody identify this painting?

For siahny.
posted by flabdablet to Media & Arts (15 answers total)
It looks like an amateur copy or version of a nineteenth century genre work.

Fashionable lady in the house of a peasant. The lady's waiting for someone? Hands clenched together suggest she's worried?

The interior - long thin carpets and wide floorboards - suggests to me maybe East Europe or possibly Scandinavia. On the other hand the chair looks somewhat like an English-style Windsor chair and this doesn't seem to be a simple log cabin, the walls are rendered, so it wouldn't't seem to be, e g, Russia. Those are just some thoughts, not getting you very close.
posted by londongeezer at 4:43 AM on January 7, 2007

siahny - could you provide any context? Eg. the gallery where you first saw the painting?

I think londongeezer is on the money about it being an amateur copy or exercise, and not a very good one at that*, but the scene is vaguely familiar - I see thousands of paintings a year, though, and have a terrible memory, so any extra info you could provide would be handy.

* Of course, now that I've said that, it'll turn out to be by an acknowledged genius ;-)
posted by jack_mo at 6:01 AM on January 7, 2007

in case anyone's wondering about the colours: siahny had sent me the picture embedded in a Word document, and when I transferred it to Photoshop it looked washed out. The colours were richer in the original.
posted by divabat at 7:45 AM on January 7, 2007

Response by poster: divabat, if you mail me that Word document I'll have a go at extracting a clean picture.
posted by flabdablet at 8:26 AM on January 7, 2007

To me it looks like the woman at the fireplace is black - maybe it's just a digital color artifact, but her face is rather dark compared to the face of the woman in the chair. This in turn suggests that the painting might be set in the American South, or perhaps the West Indies. The turban also looks sort of like something a Southern or Caribbean black woman might wear.
posted by Quietgal at 10:12 AM on January 7, 2007

Yes, black lady with turban perhaps, so I guess an American South scene with a Windsor-style chair. whatever it is, it's fairly amateurish-looking, so I think maybe not even a copy of a professional work, more something vaguely inspired by a (perhaps well-known at one time) genre scene. In the image I see, I can't work out what the woman is doing at the fire: that might be a clue: that might be what the fashionable lady is waiting for.
posted by londongeezer at 3:15 PM on January 7, 2007

in case anyone's wondering about the colours: siahny had sent me the picture embedded in a Word document, and when I transferred it to Photoshop it looked washed out. The colours were richer in the original.

Open the word document full screen and press "Print Screen" then open MSPaint.exe and paste and then save. Poor-man's method of extracting embedded documents from Word.

Can't help with identifying the painting though. Best of luck with that.
posted by bhouston at 3:46 PM on January 7, 2007

Response by poster: Here's the original jpeg extracted from siahny's Word document.

  • Open the Word document with OpenOffice.org
  • Re-save it in OOo's native .odt format
  • Rename document.odt as document.zip
  • Extract the .jpg from document.zip's "Pictures" subfolder
This process involves no image processing at all, and extracts an exact copy of the JPEG file that was originally pasted into Word, including all the EXIF data.
posted by flabdablet at 5:02 PM on January 7, 2007

Harry Herman Roseland. Or a copy/study of one of his works. Many of the elements in the asker's painting can be seen in his Seeing into the Future. If you go to this page and scroll about 3/4 of the way down, find the entry "The Fortune Teller" and you have a description that more closely resembles the piece in question.
posted by shoesfullofdust at 6:56 PM on January 7, 2007

Here it is on eBay.
posted by shoesfullofdust at 7:33 PM on January 7, 2007

Thank you so much for your help. It means so much that someone wants to help me. I also thank you Bhouston for helping me to download pic. I am not good at this that is why I didnt submit on to this site.

For those of you who are so kind to help what
I do know is:
I received it from a friend who was helping someone move out of their home in Boston and it was in his basement and was given to my friend as a payment for his help.
Also the signiture looks like. M.Wr.......
Or M.H . I could nt get a pic of the signiture .
Thanks again.
posted by siahny at 8:48 PM on January 7, 2007

Response by poster: siahny, if you have a picture and you want to make it available for other people to look at, Photobucket is very easy to use. Visit the site, sign up for an account, and you're taken straight to a page that lets you browse for a photo file on your computer and upload it to a Photobucket server; once that's done, you can click on a thumbnail of the image and be given a link that you can incorporate into a message posted here or anywhere else.

Also, if you're going to send somebody a photo in an email, it's far better to attach the original JPEG file to your mail than to paste it into a Word document first.

Finally: ISTM that a signature that might be "M.Wr" or "M.H" might well be "HHR". The "H" in this signature looks a bit like an "M" to me, for what that's worth.
posted by flabdablet at 1:40 AM on January 8, 2007

Oh My God. this is the same picture I have, flabdablet. That is too funny. Where you messing with me when you placed a link to this pic to let me know you knew what the pic was? Had you seen the pic that was to be posted her by me? Smile. This is the pic. My God. After all of this time
THANK YOU . THANK YOU ALL. BUT The signiture on your link does not look like the signiture I have and mine is on the rightside down the bottom. Any idea of what going on?
posted by siahny at 9:07 PM on January 8, 2007

Flabdablet, I looked at your pic and looked up the Fortune teller and it seems as if this is not the fortune teller.
posted by siahny at 9:16 PM on January 8, 2007

Response by poster: Siahny, it wasn't my find. All the research credit belongs to shoesfullofdust.

All I did was extract the original JPEG picture from the Word document you originally sent to divabat and post it on Photobucket. But my curiosity is piqued, now, and I've had a closer look.

First thing: the image that shoesfullofdust found on eBay is of a lithograph, as is the description from the AskArt.com site he originally linked to:
Linda Dunkle

The Fortune Teller lithograph
I inherited a Harry Herman Roseland lithograph from my mother's estate. I took it out of the frame and found the name The Fortune Teller on the bottom. Below the artist signature, Harry Roseland, there is a name on the bottom left, partially cut off (something) Lithographic Company, New York. (Below) Copy right 1898 by Truth Co. Also, a little to the right on the bottom it says, "This picture issued with TRUTH, January, 1899.
If anyone has any information that could be helpful please contact me via email.
The accompanying clarifying description
Linda Dunkle

The Fortune Teller
I must add to my previous posting that I have indeed seen a couple of works by Roseland named The Fortune Teller, however, mine is a black woman pouring a bottle of something in a pot in a fireplace with a fancy dressed, brunette haired lady in a pink top/white bottom dress, sitting in a chair in the right foreground (she has on pink gloves/flowered hat/parasol leaning against the chair). There are two cats in the picture, a black cat and a black & white cat drinking from a bowl, in the left foreground. Again I would appreciate any information on this particular work of Roseland's.
fits the eBay lithograph (and your picture) exactly, which suggests that the title of the Roseland piece is indeed "The Fortune Teller". There may of course be other, different Roseland pieces with the same name.

Second thing: your picture appears to be an oil painting, not a lithograph, and on close examination there are many small differences between it and the litho (e.g. the planks in the door, the shape of the rug in front of the door, the greenery hanging over the doorway, the pattern in the fireplace wall behind the seated woman's head, the direction of the tail of the cloth hanging over the edge of the mantlepiece, the folds in the seated woman's dress, the pleats in the parasol etc. etc. etc.) and the overall impression compared to the Roseland is that your painting was executed by a less skilled or more rushed hand.

That, and the fact that Roseland's signature doesn't appear on it where it appears on the litho, suggests to me that londongeezer and jack_mo have the right idea about it being a copy. Which is going to make it a bit of a bastard to track down, but at least you've got a pretty good ID on the original.
posted by flabdablet at 2:32 AM on January 9, 2007

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