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Tamara de Lempicka «Portrait de Madame M»

the subject work, oil on canvas, size 90 - 60 cm

A sample of a genuine signature of  Tamara de Lempicka:

Исследование в ультрафиолетовых лучах

 

About the artist

Tamara de Lempicka (1898-1980) - Polish and American artist, who worked in the style of art deco and cubism, as well as "the first artist who was a glamor diva." In 1918 she emigrated to Paris. There she gained her reputation as an exalted person, extremely fond of any kind of shocking. The artist's works were radiated by an inexplicable magnetism, an endless charge of internal energy. Each work seems to be bewitched by the violent charm of the artist herself.

 

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One of the most expensive paintings of Lempicka is the work "Portrait of Madame M, 1932. In 2009, it was sold at Christie's for 6.130.500 US dollars.
       
According to the official biography, Lempicka often copied her famous works. For example, in the official catalog-reason, there are several versions of the well-known works "La belle Rafaela", "Young Lady with Gloves", "Self-portrait", etc.

 On the image below is one of the famous paintings "Portrait de Madame M", which is similar to the subject work.
- painting "Portrait of Madame M", 1932, oil, canvas, 100 x 65 cm, private collection

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*  The image is taken from the official web-site dedicated to Tamara Lempitcka
 ( http://www.delempicka.org )

 

- sketch for painting , 1930, pencil on paper

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Examples of works by Tamara de Lempicka, that have several author's versions:

«La belle Rafaela»

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«Young Lady with Gloves»

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«Self-portrait»

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«Wisdom»

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Scope of the work:

Research of the subject work to determine whether the subject work is by Tamara de Lempicka.

Contents:

1. Analysis of the signature
2. Analysis in infrared light
3. Analysis using terahertz equipment
4. Analysis in ultraviolet light
5. Microscopic examination
6. Stylistic analysis
7. Analysis of black and white photographs and sepia mode
8. Analysis using a color inversion filter

 

Signature analysis

Our experts took samples of the original signature of Tamara de Lempicka, followed by a comparative analysis of the signatures identified on the subject work.

Comparable signatures of Lempicka

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One of the most effective methods of examination is an infrared reflectography. With the help of a special infrared radiation, which penetrates the upper layers of the examination object, we investigated the layer directly below the visible surface (because the underlying layers are hidden).

This is particularly important for determining possible preliminary drawings under layers of paint or the signatures, inscriptions beneath the paintings. This method in combination with the terahertz equipment revealed the author's signature and inscriptions, presented on the images below.

Analysis was performed using a terahertz equipment (THz) to capture the internal structure of a work of art.

Teragertz images show features which can not be seen in the optical range or by using X-rays. This is achieved by allowing the terahertz waves penetrate into the inner layers of paint. Thus, the study revealed the hidden inscriptions and signatures, are not detected by other means, such as optical, X-ray or infrared region of the spectrum. (For the study itwas used a commercial THz system «Mini-Z» produced by Zomega Terahertsz Corporation, (USA).

 

in the image below - the upper left corner of the subject work
- in a red rectangle - the revealed signature of Lempicka
- in a green rectangle - a sample of a genuine signature of Lempicka

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In the image below - the lower right corner of the subject work
- in a red rectangle - the revealed signature of Lempicka
- in a green rectangle - a sample of a genuine signature of Lempicka

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The image below shows Lempick'as signature and the date 1932 in the lower right corner of the subject work (the location is marked with a red rectangle)
- in a brown rectangle - a sample of the original signature of Lempicka

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To verify that the revealed signature corresponds to the authentic signature of Lempicka the following was done: a sample of Lempicka's original signature was made with a computer semi-transparent, and then superimposed on the location of a poorly visible signature in the subject work. After that, a comparative analysis of the sample of the original signature with a signature revealed on the subject work was made. As a result of digital handwriting expertise it was confirmed that the signature on the subject work corresponds to the genuine signature of T. Lempicka.

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in the image below - a semi-transparent sample of the original signature of Lempicka was imposed on the location of the revealed signature on the subject work

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in the image below - a semi-transparent sample of the genuine signature of Lempicka ("T de Lempicka") with the help of a computer was slightly circumcised from above and from below (the letter "L" on top and the letter "p" from below are cut off). After that, it was imposed on the location of the signature revealed on the subject work. Thus, the continuation of the letters "L" and "p" in the picture became noticeable.(the yellow arrows mark the points to which you need to pay attention)

 

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The image below shows Lempicka's signature and the date 1932 in the lower left corner of the subject work unfolded 90 degrees clockwise(the location is indicated by a red rectangle)
Yellow and green arrows mark the points where you need to pay attention

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The image below shows revealed Lempicka's signature in the upper right corner of the subject work (the location is indicated by a red rectangle)
- in a brown rectangle - a sample of a genuine signature of Lempicka

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Lempicka's signatures were found on the liner between the frame and the stretcher. The image below shows only some of the revealed signatures.

in the image below - the upper left corner of the subject work
- in the red rectangle - the revealed signatures "T de Lempicka"
- in a green rectangle - a sample of a genuine signature of Lempicka

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As a result, it was concluded that the liner between the frame and the subframe is genuine liner with signatures of Lempicka .

 

Lempicka's signature were found on the frame on the back side of the subject work.

 

in the image below — the back side of the subject work, photo taken under special light with the help of special color filters
- in a grey rectangle - a sample of a genuine signature of Lempicka
- below the sample of a genuine signature of Lempicka - the revealed signature "T de Lempicka"

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in the image below — enlarged area with revealed signature from the image above
- in a grey rectangle - a sample of a genuine signature of Lempicka
- below the sample of a genuine signature of Lempicka - the revealed signature "T de Lempicka"

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Microscopic examination (digital microscopy)

Research under the microscope (magnification x 600-fold). Study the painting when using the microscope - non-invasive method, which gave information about the method of construction of the layers in the film, as well as about whether the work was subjected to subsequent revision or restoration. Micrograph allowed to get a very clear idea of applying the technique of tiny strokes of paint. As a result, it was determined that the restoration is not performed to thesubject work.

on the images below - the front side areas of the painting under the microscope

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on the images below - the back side areas of the painting under the microscope

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 A very important way to determine the authenticity of the painting, an analysis under the ultraviolet light. Ultraviolet rays have allowed our experts to detect ageing varnish film - more than fresh paint appears darker in the ultraviolet. It is known that in the light of an ultraviolet lamp darker spots show through the restored areas and handicraft copied signature. Photographing paintings under ultraviolet light creates the effect of various different materials glow in the paint surface.

Accordingto our experts, this method is a reliable indicator of the state of the picture. This means that later varnish layers will differ from the initial layer on the color tone. This is also true for the retouched areas in comparison with the original layers of paint. Various pigments also have a different luminescence (such as zinc oxide - the older, the more yellow; fresh paint - bright lights).

As a result, it was found that the restoration was not performed to a subject work.

 

Analysis of craquelure.

Craquelure is located on the whole surface of the studied picture by natural formation, since natural drying took place, and not artificial thermal. Therefore, the pattern of the cracelure is diverse and distributed unevenly, and when applied artificially, the craquelure will look the same on the entire surface of the picture with a small section.
As a result of this type of study, it was determined that the craquelure in the subject work is of a natural origin.

 

In the image - the area of the subject work under the light filter for better visibility of the craquelure

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The stylistic analysis

Comparative stylistic analysis of the subject work on the basis of similar works of the artist that was taken from official sources. After analysis of technology, writing style, length and direction of strokes were found similarities of subject work with known works of the author.

in the image below - the area of the subject work

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in the image below - a section of Lempicka's painting "Portrait de Madame M.", 1932

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Analysis of the preliminary drawing (sketch)

With the use of terahertz equipment and specialized light filters, the preliminary drawing (sketch) was revealed in a subject work.

 

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After using terahertz equipment and specialized light filters on the back side of the canvas of the subject work, a preliminary drawing can be seen that, when compared, coincides with the Lempicka’s drawing of 1930 - "Study for Portrait of Ira P."

Since the preliminary drawing is drawed on the front side of the study work on the groundlayer, it is logical that on the back side we will see the mirror image lines of the drawing.

Itis for this reason that the image of drawing "Study for Portrait of Ira P.", 1930, was mirrored in the analysis.

 

 

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With the help of a computer, the mirror-image of the drawing "Study for Portrait of Ira P.", 1930, was made semi-transparent and combined with the revealed preliminary drawing, which can be seen from the reverse side of the subject work.

As a result, it was revealed that all the main details of the drawing "Study for Portrait of Ira P.", 1930, coincided with the revealed preliminary drawing.

You can see the coincidence of the inclination of the head, the coincidence of the arrangement of flowers in the right and left hands, and also the direction of the fingers pointing towards the neck. Also there is a coincided with the signature "LEMPICKA" in the lower left corner.

on the image below – a lower area the back side of the subject work after processing by light filters with the red regtanles are marked the areas, where you need to pay attention

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on the image below – a lower area of Lempicka’s "Study for Portrait of Ira P.", 1930,

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on the image - a semi-transparent image of the reflected mirror image of the drawing "Study for Portrait of Ira P.", 1930, is placed on the image of the back side of the subject work

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As a result of analysis, it was confirmed that the revealed preliminary drawing of the subject work coincides with Lempicka's drawing "Study for Portrait of Ira P.", 1930. This allows us to conclude that the artist originally sketched on a ground layer in the form of a picture "Study for Portrait of Ira P.", 1930, but in the process of writing author decided to slightly change the plot of a picture.

The presence of the revealed preliminary drawing, which coincides with the drawing of Lempicka of 1930, allows us to conclude that the discovered preliminary drawing is applied by Lempicka's hand. This is an additional confirmation of the authenticity of the subject work.

 

 

Analysis in color inversion filter

Comparing analysis of subject work with samples of original works by Lempicka in color inversion mode revealed similarity of colors, composition and brush strokes technique.

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Comparative analysis of black-and-white color filter, and in sepia found similarities  in the style of writing, composition and brush strokes technique.

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The subject work, verso

 

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Seals on canvas

With the help of terahertz equipment and specialized light filters on the subject work were found seals of the paris company «Bourgeois Aine» (1867 -1965), which produced canvases for painting.

 

in the image below - registration information about the company «Bourgeois Aine»

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In the image below, the upper right corner of the subject work (the location of the seal is highlighted with a yellow rectangle)

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In the image below - the location of the seal is marked with a red rectangle,in a white rectangle - a sample of the original seal of the company «Bourgeois Aine»

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A sample of the original seal of Bourgeois Aine by help of a computer was made semi-transparent, and then superimposed on the location of poorly visible seal on the subject work. After that, a comparative analysis of the sample of the original seal with a revealed seal on the subject work was made.

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In the image below, a semi-transparent sample of the Bourgeois Aine seal is applied to the location of the revealed seal on the subject work

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In the image below - the lower left corner of the back side of the subject work
- the location of the seal is marked with a red rectangle,
- in the gray rectangle - a sample of the seal of the company «Bourgeois Aine»
- Lempicka's signature was also found (the location of the signature is marked with a red rectangle)
- in the brown rectangle — sample of authentic signature of Lempicka

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To verify the compliance of the revealed signature and the original signature, an analysis was made of the coinsidense of the identified signature and seal with samples of the genuine signature of Lempicka and the original seal of the «Bourgeois Aine».

In the image below, a semi-transparent sample of the «Bourgeois Aine» seal is applied to the location of the revealed seal on the subject work
- a semi-transparent sample of Lempicka's signature is superimposed on the location of the revealed signature on the subject work

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As a result of the examination it was confirmed that the revealed seal on the subject work belongs to the «Bourgeois Aine» factory, which confirms the authenticity of the canvas and correspondence of years to the period when the subject work was executed.

 

With the use of terahertz equipment and specialized light filters on the reverse side of the canvas, a seal was found in the form of the Lempicka coat of arms "TAMARA de LEMPICKA Estate Crest"

in the image - the upper right corner of the reverse side of the subject work
- the location of the revealed seal is marked with a red rectangle,
- in the green rectangle - a sample of the seal "TAMARA de LEMPICKA Estate Crest") on the canvas collar found the signature Lempicka and date 1932 in the upper right corner of the back side of the subject work (the location is marked with a red rectangle)
- in a green rectangle - a sample of a genuine signature of Lempicka

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Note:

To protect their works, most artists put their signatures, seals and labels on the inner layers of the painting. Also, artists use the application of a signature for the purposes of selecting the necessary color gamma in the process of writing the work.

By thus applying a signature to the still not dried layer in the process of work, the artist looks at the color transitions and thus achieves the color gamma that he needs.

Also, in order to protect the work, artists used translucent ink or a graphite pencil, making notes or their signature. In the process of writing a picture, this is done several times, which explains their large number. On the reverse side of the canvas is likewise placed a large number of signatures and labels.

In the process of writing the paintings, artists repeatedly make corrections to the drawing and the color palette. For this reason, the original signature is painted over with the next author's layer and applied on the new image anew in approximately the same place where it was originally located. Therefore, in one section there may be several signatures on different authorial layers, which are detected with the use of special technical means.

In the subject work, the author's signatures are in large numbers (more than 20 signatures on each side). Signatures are found all over the surface of the picture. All signatures have different sizes.

This expertise shows the signatures and inscriptions that are best seen.

All signatures, marks and seals on the subject work are visible to the naked eye. Using the equipment, we can increase their visibility and show in this report.

 


Conclusion:

As a result of research of the painting "Portrait de Madame M" were found the signatures of Lempicka on the front and back side of the subject work. As well as a year of execution of the painting - «1932».

And seals of the Paris company «Bourgeois Aine» on the front and back of the subject work. That confirms the authenticity of the canvas and corresponds to the period when the subject work was executed.

And also the liner between the frame and the sub-frame has multiple author's signatures. This confirms the authenticity of the subject work and originality of its performance.

On the reverse side of the subject work there is a seal in the form of the "TAMARA de LEMPICKA Estate Crest", which additionally confirms the authenticity of the canvas.

As a result of the examination it was confirmed that the revealed preliminary drawing on the subject work is is executed by Lempicka and coincides with the drawing by Lempicka "Study for Portrait of Ira P.", 1930. This is an additional confirmation of the authenticity of the subject work.

Based on the information received, it is concluded that the subject work is author's copy  (with a smaller size) of the author's own work of 1932 "Portrait de Madame M".

Comparison of the features of composition, color and artistic methods clearly shows thatthe subject work is the work of Tamara de Lempicka.

 

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