Featured 3 "New" Mystery Oil Paintings

Discussion in 'Art' started by techbiker, Jun 26, 2022.

  1. techbiker

    techbiker Active Member

    Hi everyone,

    I just picked up 3 "new" antique mystery oil paintings at auction. What are your thoughts on age and the identity/origin of each painter? Quality of the work? Which would you repair first? Thanks a bunch!

    40"x18" signed river scene in oil salvaged from an old storage unit:

    Rear (guess nails were a precious commodity!):

    13"x17" (canvas size) oil painting of a wheat field in a heavy antique frame. Canvas laid on board, probably around when framed. Apparently, no signature. Research suggests this method of wheat harvest was defunct by the 1880s so I wonder if the canvas is older than the frame and board? I'd like to try to repair the frame if it's worth anything.


    Very dirty "Hudson River School" in oil. 20"x24" canvas laid on board in frame. Apparently, no signature. Plan would be to clean/varnish the painting, strip/varnish the frame and resecure w/ new hardware:
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2022
  2. charlie cheswick

    charlie cheswick Well-Known Member

    2nd is best in my opinion
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  3. moreotherstuff

    moreotherstuff Izorizent

    A couple of restoration projects?

    The second looks like a print. Are you sure it's a painting?
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2022
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  4. Lithographer

    Lithographer Well-Known Member

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  5. Any Jewelry

    Any Jewelry Well-Known Member

    Looking forward to seeing the result.:)
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  6. Debora

    Debora Well-Known Member

    The first one appears to be a decorative painting.

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  7. bosko69

    bosko69 Well-Known Member

    Number 4-'Hudson River School' is the best.Don't think any of them are Cole,Bierstadt or Church quality,but #4 deserves cleaning.
    You never know though with Art-you might be retired in a few months because of one of these pieces.
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  8. Any Jewelry

    Any Jewelry Well-Known Member

    Agree. I would love to see what is revealed after tech has cleaned it. There could be hidden quality there.
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  9. techbiker

    techbiker Active Member

    Thank you everyone

    Have to admit that cleaning paintings has turned into something of a hobby. I've gotten a bit of practice so I'm just looking to target ones with more potential. If you see any super dirty unwanted 19th century paintings, let me know lol.

    #2 does appear to be an oil painting on canvas on board, however it's under glass! The "pixels" you see appear to be canvas texture under glass. Seems this protected it from damage but why would an artist place an oil painting under glass? And why would someone spend so much money on a massive frame w/ wood backer but neglect to sign the painting itself? I'll pull it out and see if I can learn more. The frame is crumbling so much that I'm sadly not sure that's worth saving.


    Debora re #1, I guess I was enchanted by the lack of staples and older appearance. Whoops. Fortunately, didn't cost much.

    Jewelry, will definitely clean up #3 if the paint is consolidated and keep everyone posted. Seller believes it may have been reframed/remounted at some point so may be older than the frame. Thanks again!
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2022
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  10. techbiker

    techbiker Active Member

    Got the wheat painting removed from the frame. It does appear to be painted canvas glued to a piece of millboard. It also looks like a faded signature is in the bottom left. Some water damage to the top right. Under blacklight the painting appears to be varnished (green chartreuse haze).

    I cleaned the surface with "Neutralizer", a mild solvent and removed a bunch of grey grime. The original varnish appears degraded and is rendering the painting yellow and somewhat unclear. Would you just remount this in a new frame and move on, or do you think it's worth removing the varnish and revarnishing? I've applied some Neutralizer to the center of the painting in the last picture. This should approximate the clarity new varnish would provide (just not the yellow removal).

    Last edited: Jun 27, 2022
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  11. moreotherstuff

    moreotherstuff Izorizent

    I'm still unconvinced it's a painting. There are techniques that work to remove all traces of brushwork, but that appears both remarkably thin and remarkably flat. The only life appears to be in those slashes of white on the stacks, which could be an added enhancement. But you have it in hand and can judge better than I.

    Removing the varnish may settle the matter, but be very careful as there does not appear to be much there by way of pigment.

    Prints can be made on canvas.
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  12. techbiker

    techbiker Active Member

    I'll remove a small amount of old varnish from the corner and make sure there's no color loss.

    The sheen of the old varnish makes it hard to show, however I can feel texture across the canvas (especially the tree and leaves). It could still be a print with enhancements. I'm just not seeing any pixilation. Since the signature at the bottom left appears "washed out" I'm wondering if the canvas was exposed to heat. The conservator suspected heat exposure caused the paint in my A.D. Cooper to flow and flatten. I wonder if something similar may have happened here?

    P.S. The dots you see in the images above are actually canvas texture and old varnish. The surface feels rough, almost like sandpaper.
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2022
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  13. techbiker

    techbiker Active Member

    Well, darn! I suspect you are correct. #2 appears to be an elaborate chromolithograph on canvas w/ painted enhancements. The printer went to lengths to make this look authentic. See texture below. Looks like they even applied a layer of linseed oil on the top to mimic damar varnish.

    I'm actually more confused now. Why would someone go to such lengths to produce a paint-enhanced, "varnished" chromolithograph of such average art, then put it into an elaborate frame under glass?

    *Crossing my fingers that the "Hudson River School" works out.*

    Appreciate your help.


    Attached Files:

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