The Trail of the Mysterious Landscape Painting

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ctyankee
 
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The Trail of the Mysterious Landscape Painting

Postby ctyankee » 31 Jul 2013

Following the trail of the mysterious landscape painting that resides in the living room of Aunt Ruth's apartment at 1612 Havenhurst has been interesting, albeit frustrating. This painting:

Image

Back in the day, I asked other RT forum posters whether this was a famous painting and such but no one knew. It became more interesting to me when I saw it in the film The Glass House (2001) prominently displayed over a mantle.

Image
Image

At first, I wondered whether it was simply an art prop from the prop department. And it might. But The Glass House was made at a different studio (Columbia Pictures) than MD was, so unless both studios are not outsourcing props, it seems less likely based on that information.

Then I noticed it in the film Something's Gotta Give (2003). It appears on a shelf behind the desk of an art auctioneer played by the lovely Amanda Peet. So ... now I'm wondering whether the painting may be a famous forgery or famous stolen painting that has become a running inside joke, the irony is the painting is in the office of a fine art auction company that doesn't even know what they have ... or the like. However, it didn't show up during a google image search, so that seems less likely.

Image

Several weeks back, I noticed the painting again. This time on the show Mad Men (2013) - Season 6 Episode 11: Favors. It appears prominently above a bed as the husband and wife argue. The images don't do it full justice, but from watching the episode, the painting looks to have texture to it, making it less likely to be just some print. But, I'm not knowledgeable in this area, in the least.

Image
Image

The director even helps us a bit by giving us our best look at the artist's signature. However, the only thing I *think* I can make out is a rather large "Y" at the end of the signature. Hopefully others have better eyes or assimilate things better than I do. The signature can be zoomed in on ... here:

http://www.mulholland-drive.net/forum/download/file.php?id=836

So, I'm perplexed, but I find the chances of a painting prominently showing up four times, beyond improbable unless filmmakers wanted it to show up. And that's only the times I've spotted it. There may be several more occurrences. It may even pre-date Mulholland Dr. for all I know.

Lastly, I posted this at an art forum hoping that some knowledgeable person would recognize it. No one did making it quite unlikely that this is some famous or even quasi-famous painting.

So ... what's going on? How do we solve this? Ideas? :holmes:

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Re: The Trail of the Mysterious Landscape Painting

Postby kmkmiller » 31 Jul 2013

‏@KmkMiller 17m
Greetings @DanSackheim the landscape painting above the fireplace in THE GLASS HOUSE. is there anything special about it?


doubt i'll get a response. :-/

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Re: The Trail of the Mysterious Landscape Painting

Postby Alacrates » 31 Jul 2013

I have no idea, but that is some good sleuthing! I'll try to do some googling, my guess is that signature is the best lead, haha, the painting itself is quite non-descript. I checked that Mad Men episode, looks like the last two letters are either "ey" or "cy" - I'm guessing something like Lawrey, Lowsey, Larcy, Ramsey, etc.

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Re: The Trail of the Mysterious Landscape Painting

Postby Alacrates » 01 Aug 2013

Now that I'm looking at these, interesting to note too that the painting in MD seems to have been "cropped" into a smaller frame - actually, haha, the MD version has about the dimensions of an older square TV screen, while all the others seem to have something like a film screen ratio.

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Re: The Trail of the Mysterious Landscape Painting

Postby ctyankee » 01 Aug 2013

Alacrates wrote:Now that I'm looking at these, interesting to note too that the painting in MD seems to have been "cropped" into a smaller frame - actually, haha, the MD version has about the dimensions of an older square TV screen, while all the others seem to have something like a film screen ratio.


Good eyes! However, I merely "grabbed" the image posted on the LoMD site. It may simply be the case that the original poster altered/cropped the MD image. The other images are screen grabs of my own. They may have been scaled by the forum's software, but they are otherwise unaltered. I note that the MD image on the right edge as a break at the tree line that is matched in the other images. This would suggest that the "real estate" of the actual image was unaltered ... i.e. not horizontally cropped.

I also wonder whether the frames are the same in each. If so, more to suggest that this one painting is making the rounds versus ... otherwise.

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Re: The Trail of the Mysterious Landscape Painting

Postby blu » 01 Aug 2013

If we can get a high enough quality screencap of it we might be able to do a reverse image search on Google.

It's not showing anything like it at the moment though:

click me

I'll have a go later at getting a HD screengrab.

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Re: The Trail of the Mysterious Landscape Painting

Postby Alacrates » 01 Aug 2013

Yeah, I'm thinking it might not have been cropped now... took out a little ruler, it does look like the LoMD capture is about 5:6, whereas the Glass House capture seems to be about 1:1.5, However, now that you mention the frame, it looks to be the same for all your pictures, an off white frame with gold trim, so I'm leaning more towards it's the same painting & frame in all these films & Mad Men, just distorted by slightly different angles.

I got mildly obsessed with trying to solve this last evening, lol, looking through google images and website database of artist signatures - it was really frustrating, haha, it is a pretty dull little painting, there's not much to search by. I don't know that much about art, but it looks like it's from late 19th C, kind of post-impressionist I think.

I tried the google image search as well, blu, it was interesting to see that wide & bizarre array of photos in that same light brown/reddish palate, haha.

I posted the question to the Mad Men discussion board: http://blogs.amctv.com/mad-men/talk/2013/07/painting-in-ted-chaogh-s-bedroom

I thought it might be possible to search it out via the Mad Men route, I know that show has really careful set designs. I did find a tumblr account dedicated to artwork in Mad Men sets, but this wasn't posted.

One poster on the MM site thought that the painting might've been done "in the style of" Van Gogh, and maybe become kind of an running joke in various movies. That dull little field & village is certainly burnt into my retinas now, if it comes up in any movies I see, I'll report back ;)

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Re: The Trail of the Mysterious Landscape Painting

Postby ctyankee » 01 Aug 2013

I understand. I guess many of us like a mystery and it just sort of sucks you in. Big things or little, they just bug you into action. Mad Men is probably the best approach as the trail is the warmest. Thanks for the update!

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Re: The Trail of the Mysterious Landscape Painting

Postby derekfnord » 02 Aug 2013

Given that it looks to have the same framing in all the films/shows above, I wonder if it could have been mass-produced at some point, such as for a department store chain or some such. I could easily see an old 60s-70s era discount department store like White Front or Zody's selling cookie-cutter art like this for home furnishings (a modern equivalent, though a bit less "discount," might be a store like HomeGoods). If there were many prints out there, all in identical frames, it could explain how different set decoration crews could all end up the "same" painting in their scenes...

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Re: The Trail of the Mysterious Landscape Painting

Postby Siku » 02 Aug 2013

I guess one of you guys open this thread on the Mad Men site?:

Mad Men thread

Interesting comment from John Doherty that I thought I'd preserve here. His comments re Nan apply very well to Diane too:

"It looks for all the world like a Van Gogh print, but I can't place which one. The brushstrokes and sig even look like him. It's demonstrative of the care the set designers use that it perfectly evokes the mood Nan is expressing to Ted: loneliness, isolation, a hint of despair. The autumnal colors and distance from the houses suggest the artist views the homey life in the village apart from it. He can see it, but can't be part of it.

I wonder if it's a fake Van Gogh that several set designers have used?"

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ctyankee
 
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Re: The Trail of the Mysterious Landscape Painting

Postby ctyankee » 02 Aug 2013

Siku wrote:I guess one of you guys open this thread on the Mad Men site?:

Mad Men thread


Yes, Alacrates did. Looks like those Mad Men fans go full bore.

Siku wrote:I wonder if it's a fake Van Gogh that several set designers have used?"


A knowledgeable guy on art also said the painting reminded him of one of Van Gogh's wheatfield landscapes.

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ctyankee
 
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Re: The Trail of the Mysterious Landscape Painting

Postby ctyankee » 02 Aug 2013

derekfnord wrote:Given that it looks to have the same framing in all the films/shows above, I wonder if it could have been mass-produced at some point, such as for a department store chain or some such. I could easily see an old 60s-70s era discount department store like White Front or Zody's selling cookie-cutter art like this for home furnishings (a modern equivalent, though a bit less "discount," might be a store like HomeGoods). If there were many prints out there, all in identical frames, it could explain how different set decoration crews could all end up the "same" painting in their scenes...


That seems like quite a conceivable possibility to me. The home furnishing angle might also explain why the frame is so nice. What I mean is ... it's not just some cheap stained wood but painted gold wood ... and it's not just a matted frame but with a matching interior frame as well. If you went to a frame shop, that's the expensive way of doing it. But ... for a home furnishing situation, I know my mom has a ho-hum print that came in a really nice frame ... so maybe it makes sense for them to put a 50 dollar saddle on a 10 dollar horse sometimes. Nice idea.

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Re: The Trail of the Mysterious Landscape Painting

Postby blu » 08 Aug 2013

kmkmiller wrote:
‏@KmkMiller 17m
Greetings @DanSackheim the landscape painting above the fireplace in THE GLASS HOUSE. is there anything special about it?


doubt i'll get a response. :-/

kmkmiller sent this on Twitter. Said I would add to the thread.

BRC_BjjCIAAIdGg.jpg


Also, I appear to have lost/deleted my 1080p version of MD, so the chances of image searching google are out of the window for the time being.

:down:


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