Contributed by PAFA Museum Collections
As the collections team has been photographing some of PAFA’s framed paintings over the last several weeks, we have been able to enjoy documenting the rarely seen reverse side of these works.
In the museum world, we define recto as the front or main image and the verso as the back or reverse secondary image. So why may we want to photograph the verso?
Many paintings in our collection have a long exhibition and ownership history, and this provenance can be followed through various notes, labels, stickers, and other markings on the backs of frames. Pictured below are a few examples of works in the middle of being photographed showing the front side view (recto), followed by the corresponding reverse side of the painting (verso).
Fox Grapes and Peaches, (1815) Raphaelle Peale, Oil on wood.
Fox Grapes and Peaches, verso, (1815) Raphaelle Peale, Oil on wood.
The Painter’s Triumph, (1838) William Sidney Mount, Oil on wood.
The Painter’s Triumph, verso, (1838) William Sidney Mount, Oil on wood.
Fourth of July in Centre Square, (1812) John Lewis Krimmel, Oil on canvas.
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