Thursday, 25 May 2017

EbookCoverWelcome to the George Quaintance blog. Your hosts, John Waybright and Ken Furtado, are the authors of QUAINTANCE: The Short Life of an American Art Pioneer, the only complete, authoritative biography of Quaintance ever written. Our book fills a cultural, historical and academic void for this seminal 20th century artist. It is packed with photos and available as an ebook at Smashwords, for the low price of $12.99. We are excited to have exclusive access to hundreds of never-published photographs from Quaintance’s personal scrapbooks and family archives. Sadly, John passed away in May 2013, before seeing the book published. We hope you will use this site as a platform to exchange ideas, information and images related to this under-valued artist, as well as to learn more about him. Please send your email to kfurtado@georgequaintance.com.

 

1937dupeWhen undertaking research for the Quaintance biography, one of the questions John and I were asked most frequently was, "Did Quaintance ever paint the same canvas more than once?"

The answer to that question was always a qualified "no." The qualification was needed because Quaintance modified several designs in order to appease censors and overcome legal objections, when certain of his images were published in periodicals of the day. Other than that, there was that pesky Kanaka Fisherman, which to date exists in three distinct variations. The distinctions are so minor, you'd probably not notice them unless you were looking at all three canvases side-by-side. Everything mentioned in this paragraph has already been thoroughly documented elsewhere in this blog.

1937dupesigBut in March 2016 a new duplicate emerged. The first version of this canvas was reported in 2013, when it appeared on an auction site. The winning bidder paid $2500, plus a 20 percent buyer's fee, bringing the total to $3000. The untitled painting depicts a water lily on a midnight-blue background, with a ghostly pair of male and female nudes emerging in a swirl from the center of the flower.

The "new" painting differs in a few particulars. It is square (37x37 inches), as opposed to its distinctly vertical predecessor. The auctioned painting was both signed and dated, 1937, along the right edge just above the white petal. The square version is signed at the left but not dated.

One wonders what Quaintance found so compelling about this image that he needed to paint it twice. As one correspondent wrote, "Wow, that was the last painting I would have expected to see duplicated!"

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