I have a painting that was passed down to me. It seems to be a similar to Rembrandt's: A man in Golden Helmet.On the back of the painting there is a label which states: A Winsor Art Product, Illinois Molding Co., Chicago, IL. The label also gives a IBM#. The painting is signed by a J. Mastin, which I believe may be James Mastin. I am unable to locate any further information on the origins of this painting except for other curious collectors with similar painting, but in different colors and labels. I would like to know the origin of this painting and worth if any? I would like to pass it down to my own children and have information on how it came about as well. Please let me know if you know of or find out anything. I'm excited just to learn anything about this painting that's been in our family for years.
Answer Dear Tara,
Without examining your painting; I can only give you my opinion on what you have. I found the artist James Mastin online and I don't believe this is his work as he creates original art and he does not sign with a first intial only. He uses his full name. Your painting is in the style of Rembrandt's "The Man With the Golden Helmet." People can commission a reproduction of the painting in oil on canvas from several sources. Since it is not intended to actually pass for a Rembrandt; the commissioned artist makes subtle changes and then signs with his own signature.
Windsor Art Products and other companies made decorative art from early century until the seventies based on purchasing copyright images and then embossing the image on to cardboard or canvas. Brush strokes with clear varnish would be added to create a more realistic image. Since yours is not an identical copy of the painting I would guess it was commissioned by Windsor to be painted rather than printed. As I mentioned I cannot tell the medium from the photo; but it looks like a well done copy.
I can assist with identification, acquisition, sell representation, and care of fine art prints and original paintings. Some of my artist specialties include Henri Toulouse Lautrec, California Artists, and the Modern Masters. I can also assist with information on getting professional appraisals and authentication.
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