Title: Boy Holding Poppies and Wheat
Oil on canvas
Dimensions: Image: 25 3/4 x 21 1/2 inches (65.4 x 54.6 cm)
Acquired through the Museum Membership Fund
The verso, or back, of this painting has proven to be invaluable for provenance research. Although the painting underwent conservation in 1981, which included relining the canvas, the Williamstown Regional Art Conservation Laboratory in Williamstown, Massachusetts, not only photographed the back of the painting but also painstakingly transcribed the labels, stickers, marks, and inscriptions in their conservation report, then removed and saved those labels and stickers for our object file.
Couture’s students learned to paint by copying the work of other masters. This practice is important to consider when researching this painting because there appear to be two versions of this work. They have taken two different paths, one staying in France and eventually presumed lost until 1987, when it appeared for sale in New York City; and ours, which was probably purchased in Paris shortly after its execution and brought to America. The various exhibition catalogues, auction records, and newspaper articles that mention the works note that they were both considered to be by Couture. ("This is no Less Curious: Journeys through the Collection" cocurated by Sonja Gandert, Alexandra Palmer, and Alana Ryder and presented at the Johnson Museum January 24 - April 12, 2015)
NOTE: This electronic record is compiled from historic documentation which may not reflect the Johnson Museum's complete or current knowledge of the object. Review and refinement of such records is ongoing.