In the upcoming auction by Barridoff, one of Gastave Courbet’s landscape works is estimated between $30,000 to $50,000. Thus another painting offered on ebay which is attributed to him draws my attention.

It does bear a signature, which looks like Courbet. Unfortunately, that’s all it appears to share with other Courbet works.

The seller copied the biography information from Wikipedia, yet didn’t even tell who attributed the work, which was done by palette knife in an impressionistic manner. Well, if it is by the seller, then why didn’t he read his own description that stated that Courbet painted in a realistic style? Plus the back of the canvas shows that the age of the painting that does not appear to show more than 100 years of age. (The seller dated the work in 1870’s.)

Even worse, this is from a dealer who has more than 2700 feedback score and has sold many art works from Denmark. It may be carelessness on the part of the seller, but it would seem suspect that such a name could be added to a listing purely by accident. Like the not so old antique placed in a dusty corner, it looks like this attribution could be here to insure such a work will be “discovered.”

After all it is the name of the attribution which is too “sensational” to miss!

Attributions are, in the nature of the case, only offered for artworks whose authorship is not otherwise already clearly marked or signed. A signed painting is never “attributed”, it is either considered genuine, or it is not. The signature itself forms the “attribution”. And in the case of an artwork bearing what appears to be the artist’s signature, only two judgments are possible: 1) that the signed artwork is genuine and therefore cannot be attributed, or 2) that the signed artwork is a fake and therefore cannot be attributed to the artist whose name it bears.

More can be read at here.

About Hui

Wang Hui lived from 1632 - 1717 and followed in the footprints of his great grandfathers, grandfather, father and uncles and learned painting at a very early age. He was later taught by two contemporary masters, Zhang Ke and Wang Shimin, who taught him to work in the tradition of copying famous Chinese paintings. This is most likely the reason why critics claim that his work is conservative and reflects the Yuan and Song traditions. One critic claimed that "his landscape paintings reflect his nostalgic attachment to classical Chinese aesthetics. Along with the other Wangs, Wang Hui helped to perpetuate the tradition of copying the ancient masters rather than creating original work.

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