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Dating a painting

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Dating a painting

Postby GClark40 » Sat Aug 29, 2015 4:55 pm

This 20' x 14' painting is of my great grandfather, born 1855. There is no signature or any markings on the back. What's the best we can do to date it (either by the subject's age or dress)? Also, can we tell anything about the circumstances behind such a painting? The family were by no means well off. Any idea of the costs? When did photography become a cheaper option? With thanks as always!
Joshua Clark painting - low res.jpg
Joshua Clark (1855-1901)
Joshua Clark painting - low res.jpg (275.71 KiB) Viewed 2174 times
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Dating a painting

Postby brunes08 » Thu Nov 12, 2015 11:57 am

I've tried for a while to see if I can find a similar style of tie and collar but no luck so far. He looks to be past his teenage years so would guess the painting is from 1875 onwards. A few thoughts occurred to me about the painting as you said you didn't think the family was well and may not afford a portrait.
What was his occupation - could there be a link there? Might he have sat as a model for someone. Might there have been an amateur artist in the family. It is a tricky problem as there is so little to go on.
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Re: Dating a painting

Postby ksouthall » Sat Nov 14, 2015 11:58 am

Was you ancestor a local alderman or councillor? Did he work for a bank or in one of the professions? If so, could the portrait have been commissioned by his employers or local council for public display and the family also received a copy?
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