Posted 6 years ago
Well as far as mysteries go this is a cracker. This painting I acquired through my work. It was in a battered frame which literally fell apart when I lifted it up, hence no frame. The picture itself was painted with watercolour and gouache and is titled Head of an Italian as written on the back in script. The picture has some writing in white at the bottom but is unreadable so perhaps may be the name of the artist.
But the most interesting thing about this painting is the stamp E.S.K on the bottom right, and to the back. This is the stamp of the paper utilised by the South Kensington art training school, which is now the Royal College of Art, London. The painting looks like it may date from 1890 - 1900 which is when the ESK blind stamp was used, but I may be wrong on this. The painting if a head study and is done absolutely brilliantly. Some people who have more knowledge in painting than myself have said that the person who painted this was very talented indeed and said it was superbly done. I love it, shame about the water mark running through it, but it is still stunning. You will see that the lower section of the portrait is rather crude. I'm not sure if this is because the exam was purely for a head study and the student just filled in the lower section quickly.
All in all a wonderful painting of an Italian man.