Friday, January 04, 2013

Who painted this? #10

We start the New Year with a complete conundrum.  Let's see how well honed your artistic and detective skills are with this one! :)

To be completely honest I happened upon this completely accidentally - as you do - and I had never seen it before.

Who Painted This? #10
Right CLICK the image  and open in a new tab to see a larger version
How to participate in "Who painted this? #9"

PLEASE make sure you read the rules before posting a comment - and ONLY POST ON THIS BLOG what you think is the answer.

Click this link to read THE RULES for participating in this challenge (this saves having to copy them out for each post!).

In short:
  • use your brains not software to find the answer
  • search using words only on a database of images
  • leave your answer as a comment on this blog
  • if correct it will not be published until the next post - which provides the answer
  • if wrong it will be published
  • do not leave the answer on Facebook!
  • the winner - who gets a mention and a link on/from this blog - is the first person to give me a completely correct answer for ALL the things I want to know
Who Painted This #9 - The Answer

The answer to Who painted this? #9 is somewhat curious.  Those in the know indicate it's not a painting by the great man himself but rather than it was created in a workshop those who worked with him.  Which means he may or may not have contributed to it but nobody quite knows.

Link to the very large full resolution version on Wikipedia
this enables you to see each of the panels much more clearly
  • Title of the artworkThe Nativity
  • Name of the artist who created this artwork: Workshop of Rogier van der Weyden (Netherlandish, Tournai ca. 1399–1464 Brussels) 
  • Date it was created: mid-15th century / Made in, Brussels, Belgium
  • Media used: Tempera and oil / Polyptych Overall (as displayed): 59 3/4 x 108 x 19 1/2 in. (151.8 x 274.3 x 49.5 cm)
  • Where it lives now: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • How you know all this? eg how did you do your search 
Unlike #8, very few people got the answer to Who painted this? #9 - because (1) it was difficult and had some built-in "trip-ups" and (2) I guess you had a few other commitments over this last week. ;)
I'm now getting picky on correctness.

The first two answers from Speedy Sue and Irene were almost correct/complete but not quite.

In fact, the first absolutely correct/complete answer came from Jean-Baptiste Pelardon who also spotted the fact that it was that unusual format - the polyptych - and was NOT painted in its entirety by the early Flemish painter Rogier van der Weyden who, along with Jan van Eyck, was one of the most celebrated painters in Europe of his generation!

For a long time this painting was housed in a nunnery in Segovia.  It then did the rounds of the ancestral homes of minor nobility in the UK before arriving at the sale rooms of Thomas Agnew from where it went to live in New York at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Here's what the Metropolitan Museum of Art has to say about it
The central panel of this altarpiece represents the Nativity, flanked on the left by the annunciation of the Tiburtine Sibyl to the emperor Augustus, and on the right by the Annunciation to the Magi with a further scene in the background of the Magi bathing at Mount Victorial. The wings depict the Visitation and the Adoration of the Magi, looking on from above surrounded by angels, is God the Father. The announcement of Christ's coming to Augustus and to the Three Kings were events thought to have occurred at the moment of Christ's birth. This dual annunciation to the rulers of the West and East demonstrates the universal significance of the Incarnation and the Supremacy of Christ over all earthly realms. The center panel generally follows the composition of a triptych now in Berlin devoted to the same subjects and painted about 1445 by Rogier van der Weyden for Pierre Bladelin, treasurer to the Burgundian dukes. Two of the small outer wings were removed and are now in private collection.

Others who got the answer correct are:

  • Sue Smith - who thought it was by Rogier van der Weyden
  • Irene - whose explanation of how she got to it was just little too lightweight for me.  I like them with a bit more meat on the bones.
  • magificolm
  • Colours and Textures


  1. My first thought was Rene Magritte. I have several books on him and other Surrealists but could not find this there or on Google search. Next step was other Surrealist painters, Max Ernst, Dali among others - still no luck, so tried trompe l'oiel picture frame and bingo there it was. The link led to a Flickr stream with no details so went back and right clicked image to get "similar" images (giving away all my secrets here") and came up with the gallery website where it lives. Hope I have it all right this time!

    Trompe L'oiel. The Reverse of a Framed Painting

    Cornelius Norbertus Gijsbrechts


    Oil on canvas

    National Gallery of Denmark

  2. Very intriguing which artist would paint the back of a canvas painting?Item no 36?Lots of questions and no answers, if I had the time on my hands I would really do some research but currently am very busy.

  3. Funny I recognized it immediately from one of my art books making this for me the easiest who "painted it this" you have posted.

    Artist that are interested in trompe-l'œil will recognize this work as by seventeenth century master Cornelis Norbertus Gijsbrechts.

    Titled The Reverse of a Framed Painting. He had an amazing technique and was a master of painting surface texture. You will find him referenced in most books on Trompe-l'œil and many still life books. Better know for his Vantias a type of symbolic still life painting.

    Cornelis Norbertus Gysbrechts or Gijsbrechts (ca 1630 - after 1683) was a Flemish painter of still life and trompe-l'œil active in the second half of the seventeenth century.

    Date 1668-1672
    Medium oil on canvas
    Title The Reverse of a Framed Painting
    Dimensions 66.4 × 87 cm (26.1 × 34.3 in)
    Location Danish National Gallery located in Copenhagen.

  4. Dear Katherine,
    I'd like to wish you and your readers a very happy new year.
    The answer to Who painted this No 10 is

    Title of the artwork: it's a trompe l'oeil called The Reverse of a Framed Painting;
    Name of the artist who created this artwork: Cornelius Norbertus Gijsbrechts (Flemish, c. 1610- after 1675)
    Date it was created: 1670
    Media used: oil on canvas
    Where it lives now: Statens Museum for Kunst/ National Gallery of Denmark in Copenhagen in the Royal Collections.
    How you know all this? searched in google images for trompe l'oeil back of painting. Saw image that was shown on blog called and from there googled the name of the artist.
    Kind regards
    John O'Grady

  5. ooh, frustrating one. I have seen it before, I definitely have, but when, where? .......

  6. I thought this painting would be the most difficult so far but I did not have to look to long before I found the info on it.
    It is called "Trompe l'oeil. The Reverse of a Framed Painting". It was painted by Cornelis Norbertus Gysbrechts. Date given was 1668-1672. It is oil on canvas and is located in the Statens Museum of Kunst in Copenhagen. Sorry I didn't give enough info on how I found the #9 so I will be a little more detailed on this one. I first googled "Paintings of the back of canvases" Which brought up many links as well as some images. I found a simalar image of a painting of a canvas back done by E. Heirnault which lead me to a google article on Trompe l'oeil paintings of which were listed some artist that were known for this style. I started to look at each entry and found our painting by this artist.

  7. ah gotcha!
    Cornelius Norbertu Gijsbrechts, Trompe L'oeil. The Reverse of a Framed Painting 1670, oil on canvas. 66.4x87cm
    Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen.
    found on the Tate website via google search.

  8. Hi Katherine,

    Excellent choice. I would never have guessed this was 17th Century and was part of a popular genre.

    Title of the artwork: Trompe l'oeil. The Reverse of a Framed Painting

    Name of the artist who created this artwork: Cornelius Norbertus Gijsbrechts

    Date it was created: 1670

    Media used: Oil on canvas

    Where it lives now: Statens Museum for Kunst, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen

    How you know all this? eg how did you do your search I searched for “Reverse canvas” in Google, This took me to, which gave me Cornelius Gijsbrechts and Statens Museum for Kunst. The information is from the museum's website.



  9. If it's a drawing, and not a painting, I would say J.D. Hillberry who has a wonderful book on creating realistic texture in pencil & charcoal and is a master of 3 dimensional looking drawings. He's done a few of pictures, cards and tickets that seemed to be taped onto boards or frames. I'd love to know who it is, if it's not Hillberry.

  10. It is by the Flemish painter Cornelius Norbertus Gysbrechts or Gijsbrechts. The title is Trompe l'oeil, the reverse of a framed painting, oil on canvas dated about 1668-1672 and is currently in the Statens Museum for Kunst (The National Gallery of Denmark).
    This is the first Who painted this I have managed to get, firstly I looked through some art books but got nowhere, then I searched trompe l'oeil painters looking at people like magritte and the American painters Haberle and Peto, no joy there. Then I tried searching for painters who painted the back of picture frames finally I searched for Trompe l'oeil the reverse of a framed painting which led me directly to Gijsbrechts.

  11. Hilary Jane Dunk,Surrey, UK.
    Who Painted this ? 10 #
    I recognised this instantly, as it formed part of a National Gallery exhibition in 2000...Having seen a review in a paper and realising that it was the last day of the exhibition and that it was "now or never" if I wanted to see the pictures in the flesh, I put other things on hold to see this. I would say that I am probably his number one fan (as lover of "The Golden Age of Dutch painting" eg. Vermeer, De Hooch, Fabritus, Kalf etc) and I was not disappointed.
    I found his work compelling, interesting & full of colour. I of course, bought the catalogue, postcards etc for my own pleasure & to use as teaching aids.
    So, here is the info you require :-
    TITLE :- "Reverse of a framed painting" Trompe L'oeil.
    DATE c. 1670
    MEDIA :- OIL ON CANVAS.26"x34" approx.
    WHERE IT IS NOW :- COPENHAGEN in the Staten Museum.
    I researched this by Googling the artist's name.

  12. Trompe l' oeil?
    ... and the search begins.

  13. I found it! And relatively easy.
    I googled searched the words Trompe l' oeil paintings. And frankly, I thought there would be so many it would be hopeless without further info of some kind... approximate dates or something...
    It first came up on this site, that gave me the artist and title, clicked a link of the artists name in the comments of that post, that took me to, clicked, oddly enough, their own link, 'Artcyclopedia', under the heading 'Pictures from Archives, and there it was.
    Wha Hoo!

    Artist: Cornelius Gijsbrechts
    Title: Reverse Side of a painting
    Medium: oil on canvas
    Date: 1670
    Location Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen

  14. What a delightful puzzle. After much head scratching I see that we are looking across the North Sea again.
    Artist Cornelius Norbertus Gijsbrecht,
    Title The Reverse Side of a Painting
    medium oil on canvas.
    Painted c. 1670,
    Now at Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen)

    I started by googling photo real, hyper real,lot 36 and painting of the back of a canvas. Found similar work by other artists. When I added trompe l'oeil to the search that set me off on a path that lead to wikimedia.

  15. Although I am sure many have already found all the answers ,I searched under Trompe l' oeil and found this, not sure how much of it is correct.

    Artist - Cornelis Norbert Gijsbrechts
    Title - Reverse of a framed painting
    Date 1670-1672
    Medium-Oil on Canvas
    Currently at Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen

  16. Woo hoo
    I won! What great fun!
    Thanks for the link, Katherine
    You are such a fantastic resource.
    And are very much appreciated


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