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Fine Art/How can I do research on the artist of a painting I have?


Hello. I have a painting at home that is by an artist named J. Marshall that is titled "Bridge on the Becky, Devon." (That's what the nameplate says.) It appears to have been painted around the turn of the 20th century, though I'm not sure. There are a few numbers drawn on the back of the frame with magic marker (I am not sure what they mean, if anything) and otherwise no other marks. That's all I have to go by. I would like to do some research on the Internet to find out more about this artist and whether or not he was important, but I really don't know the best way to start. Do you have any tips?

Dear Nicole,
If you would like to send jpeg images to me please keep each image of a reasonable size (not too large), and send them as “attachments”, do not embed them in your email. If you are looking for identification or opinion regarding your painting best would be an image of the front (just the painting, don’t include your lovely living room or pick-up truck), the back, and remove any paper covering (90% of respondents do not send me images of the back, I can obtain nearly as much information from the back as from the front), and close-ups of the signature, details of the brush-work, and any inscriptions or labels (use the macro setting on your camera for these close-ups). You can send this information to my email at and make your subject line “allexperts” so I do not bounce you as spam. It would be nice to receive feedback as I do this on my own time with no remuneration, free, no charge, nada. I do NOT research prints or artwork post-1940 (in other words if it does not look like your grandfather or great-grandfather would have owned it, don't proceed).

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Daniel A. Hynes


Collecting, buying, selling, identifying, and caring for paintings, drawings,and watercolors (19th and early 20th century American and European). No prints, contemporary art, or works executed after 1940.


35 years as a fine art dealer, including 3 years as a gallery director. Also was art expert for Leslie Hindman's Auctioneers, and for Dunning's Auction.

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