Adrien Henri Tanoux 1865-1923

click to enlarge

"Der Brief"

signed and dated: 'Tanoux 1890' (lower left)
oil on canvas
(? x ? cm)

(click here to see an enlargement)

When I first saw this painting I thought perhaps it wasn't a Tanoux, due the the signature or at least what remains of the signature in this cropped reproduction, that I have anyway framed. I searched high and low to find out more about this painting. The only thing I could discover was that it was sold by a German auction house Schloss Ahlden: ę132Ľ, Ahlden, Saturday, September 23, 2006. (estimates were 4,800 EUR).

I later discovered an example of a Tanoux signature in another German Auction house, Bergmann (click here to go there)

signature 1887

Above, I show a somewhat enhanced copy of the Bergmann example, when we compare the remaining part of the signature in Der Brief, we can immediately see the similarities. however this is not the Tanoux signature which we see so often. Tanoux started his career with this signature in 1887 we can see it more clearly in his painting Namouna..

1887 namouna signature

Enlarged image of the signature of Adrien Henri Tanoux
from his 1887 painting entitled "Namouna."

This lead me to a curious adventure of looking at Tanoux signatures, there are two other examples on the internet (click here to see two examples). I won't show them as it seems to be a big business selling autographs, but I will just show an example from the painting "RÍverie."

reverie signature

Enlarged low resolution image of the signature of Adrien Henri Tanoux
from his painting entitled "RÍverie."

RÍverie is an undated painting, however we see here, a clear typical signature example of the kind that you see most often. Thus we must conclude that Tanoux changed the signature quite early in his career, if the painting "Der Brief," is from 1890 then we see that he used the early signature at least three years. Checking further I went back to the Gixcel high resolution images of "The Washer."

click to enlarge

High resolution image of the signature of Adrien Henri Tanoux
from his painting entitled "The Washer."

(click here to see an enlargement)

Now if we want to know just exactly when Tanoux changed his signature we can look at this Washer example which is dated and listed as 1892... but was it really painted in 1892? On closer inspection we see that this painting was originally dated 1895 and later, that date was changed to 1892. Was this just a simple mistake by Tanoux, that he corrected in a very casual way? Why would anyone want to change the date otherwise? And what does this mean for our research into the variations within the signatures of Adrien Henri Tanoux.... possibly a further investigation of the signatures will reveal whether or not this painting was actually painted in 1895.

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created by L. A. Miller in collaboration with Jean Duday.


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