Fine Art/identification of artist
I am trying to identify the artist of an antique (circa 1863) oil on board. It is exquisite, masterful. I didn't know if there was a way to email photo, so will try to give you all the info I can. I am also sending photo's to Sotherby's. It is a close up pastoral of sheep, so detail you can see their eyelashes. It is signed in the lower right hand corner, but hard to make out. It starts like H De Leu.. or H De Lud..and then either (1763) or (1863) in parinthises, or possibly more letters. I believe it to be the date. It was purchased at an antique shop in England in the 1970's. It is a remarkable piece of art and sure to be of some importance. On the back of the frame there are 2 places where priviously someone had tried to come up with the correct signature. They wrote H. De Leuden and H DeLeudens. I have searched all over the internet to no avail and would greatly appreciate any advise, info or direction as to how to proceed. Thank you so much for your time and talents.
Dear Barbara, The subject and presumed name would be Dutch or Belgian. I checked general dictionaries of artists, dictionaries of Dutch and Belgian artists, and even a dictionary of painters of cattle and sheep. I could find no name under "D" or "L" that would resemble the name you identify. As far as the date in parenthesis, I don't believe I have ever seen a date in parenthesis on a painting. Most probably these are continuing letters of the name or location.
You might examine the signature in the dark with a black light. If there is not excessive old varnish (which blocks the ultraviolet light) over the signature it may be more legible. I think your last hope is to browse through books on 19th century Dutch and Belgian artists to find a similar painting.