[From the catalogue-in-progress for “Landscapes & Livestock”, a loan exhibition for Agincourt Homecoming in the Fall of 2015]
Pictor Ignotus [attr. August von Pettenkoffen]
oil on wood panel / 6 inches by 12 inches (overall)
“Pictor Ignotus” (Unknown Artist) is too convenient an attribution for works with faulty provenance or none at all. In this case it has been tempting to link “Odalisque” with the collection’s two works by 19th century Austrian artist August von Pettenkofen; all three works came from the Wasserman family, whose origins are Austrian. A firm attribution to Pettenkofen would add considerably to its value—monetary and otherwise. The damage is not recent.