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Old 04-08-2012, 10:42 PM
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Family painting riddle

A friend of mine showed me a painting done of his family before he was born, more than 50 years ago. His mother, in the painting, died last year. My friend was shocked when he took the painting out of the frame and saw the current year at the time, 2011, written on the back (image shown below). Also written appears to be "NY". The painting was a watercolor. Could anyone shed any light on what this means or how "2011" was written on a painting more than 50 years old? We're trying to figure this out.
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Old 04-08-2012, 10:44 PM
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Re: Family painting riddle

My 2nd post. Image below.
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Old 04-08-2012, 10:45 PM
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Re: Family painting riddle

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Old 04-08-2012, 11:42 PM
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Re: Family painting riddle

It could be anything, it could be an inventory number, it could be the artists 2011th painting, it could be a reference to the frame, it could mean 20x11, someone in the family or the artist could have accidentally written on it. It could mean a thousand and one pragmatic things.
It's sounds as if you're inferring that it was some sort of mystical prediction of the year she would die. If you want to think that more power to you. I'm not sure why it matters at all though.
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Old 04-09-2012, 08:19 AM
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Re: Family painting riddle

It is a mystery. It sure looks. Like 2011. NY. No idea what it means or how and why it came to be on the painting.
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Old 04-09-2012, 07:57 PM
savedbyhim01 savedbyhim01 is offline
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Re: Family painting riddle

Maybe your friend wrote it on the back himself for an April Fool's Day joke?
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Old 04-09-2012, 10:52 PM
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Re: Family painting riddle

could be an international date 20th of November 2011, or even 20th of January 20/1 or any number of options.
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Old 04-09-2012, 11:14 PM
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Re: Family painting riddle

Well I appreciate the input vmrs. Yes that's what I thought, it could be anything. But as you implied in part (mystical prediction), my friend started to freak out when he saw that on the back of the painting last year. At the time, I took a photo of it and promised him that I'd look into it, that there must be some logical explanation. I thought maybe someone here could offer some. Thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vmrs
It could be anything, it could be an inventory number, it could be the artists 2011th painting, it could be a reference to the frame, it could mean 20x11, someone in the family or the artist could have accidentally written on it. It could mean a thousand and one pragmatic things.
It's sounds as if you're inferring that it was some sort of mystical prediction of the year she would die. If you want to think that more power to you. I'm not sure why it matters at all though.
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Old 04-09-2012, 11:17 PM
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Re: Family painting riddle

LOL, no savedbyhim01. I took the photo late last year. I just found it tucked away in my cell phone and thought about finding an art forum (chose this one) to post it asking the question above.

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Maybe your friend wrote it on the back himself for an April Fool's Day joke?
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Old 04-09-2012, 11:19 PM
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Re: Family painting riddle

I believe this was probably written sometime in the 1950's though.

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Originally Posted by Clive Green
could be an international date 20th of November 2011, or even 20th of January 20/1 or any number of options.
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Old 04-09-2012, 11:51 PM
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Re: Family painting riddle

international dating has been used for at least two centuries and is used almost everywhere except the US, it would help to know the name of the artist and their origin (european or american)
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Old 04-09-2012, 11:54 PM
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Re: Family painting riddle

Quote:
I believe this was probably written sometime in the 1950's though.

It's nice of you to check it out for your friend but I think you've been had.
It looks fairly new to me, the paper is aged and stained but the numbers are fairly dark and regular even when the paper under them is not. if it had been written at the time the painting was painted, the lettering would show the same or at least a little of the fading staining patterns as the paper.
But either way since there is a beloved portrait on the other side, your friend might want to get an expert restorer to check it out before the paper/canvas ages any more. It doesn't look like it's in good shape at all.
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Old 04-10-2012, 12:48 AM
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Re: Family painting riddle

what does it say on the front
'cause that's what ultimately counts

the 'ink' on the back may be a large clue
if it's 'charcoal', it's fairly freshly written
the script seems a tad old fashioned
written back in the 50's, or by someone from the 50's

why did your friend take it out of the frame?
new frame? old frame?
do you live in NY?
2011
(reframed by)
Neil Young

la
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Last edited by La_ : 04-10-2012 at 12:57 AM.
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Old 04-11-2012, 01:47 AM
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Re: Family painting riddle

I'll try to get a photo from the front. No I don't think I've been had. His mom just died. He's not a sick person. Maybe someone wrote that on the back years after the painting was done. I'll try to post additional info.
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Old 04-11-2012, 04:58 AM
ianuk ianuk is offline
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Re: Family painting riddle

Too many assumptions and too little evidence of facts. You will never know if the 2011 means the year or anything else. The script tells nothing about the age. I write in an even more old fashoined script (in 2012) and the NW may have nothing to do with New York, could be new year or so many other words, a million possibilities actually

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