Who Was Antoine Blanchard?
Was that even his real name? If not, where did it come from and why are there so many works signed with the same name?
Currently it is estimated that 1 out of every 8 or 10 works found in the market are actually by the “Antoine Blanchard” that we sell and for the record, his real name was Marcel Masson.
Original Antoine Blanchard Painting for Sale
The original Antoine Blanchard painting Porte St. Denis, a 13”x18” oil on canvas, is for sale at auction in June 2020.
By the late 1940s or early 1950s Masson began to experiment with views of Paris and these then lead to more nostalgic scenes based on photos he had collected from the 1880 – 1910 period. At this same point in time he decided to change his name from Marcel Masson to Antoine Blanchard. The current story is that he looked in the Paris phone book and chose his new name at random.
How to Spot an Authentic Antoine Blanchard
Prior to 1958 Blanchard would sign his name with a single period after the signature. Between 1958 and 1961 his style went through a number of changes including the addition of a second period. One after the first name and one after the second.
As Blanchard’s popularity grew and the demand for his paintings became international, art galleries could not acquire enough of his works and would then have another artist paint similar works. The faux “Blanchard” paintings would be signed with the artists name “Antoine Blanchard” and at the time it would not have been out of the ordinary for someone else to use the same name, as Marcel Masson did not register or copyright it. Additionally, at the time they were being painted patrons were not buying works for their “investment” potential and they were viewed as purely decorative paintings.
The galleries that hired artists to paint similar scenes were also smart enough to have those artists sign their works with slight differences. One used two dots after the last name, while another used two dots before the Antoine and two dots after the Blanchard. One used no dots, but favored a real script style signature, while another used a single dot before and after the signature. There are even some paintings signed ‘A. Blanchard’.
With all of this taking place, it has lead to a quite prolific “Antoine Blanchard” market full of both fake and real works. The challenge is to weed out the fake works, which is most easily done by looking at those ever so important but small periods in the signature to spot the real Marcel Masson / Antoine Blanchard paintings.
Learn More about Antoine Blanchard
Read the artist biography and see past auction results for original Antoine Blanchard paintings.
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