Paint dating

Rebholz got his start studying illustration at Minneapolis College of Art and Design where he became interested in painting and lettering outside of his classes, and taught himself sign painting.“I was looking at a bunch of signs and also had a fascination with mid-century illustration,” he said.

That’s why, when we moved into our new building in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District, we tapped visual designer Bill Rebholz to paint a giant mural representing the emotional journey of dating.

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Previously, art historians had called upon scientists to compare the alleged Léger painting from the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, in Venice, Italy, with an authentic painting of the 'Contraste de formes' series belonging to the Solomon Guggenheim Foundation in New York, USA.

They performed tests based on techniques including X-ray radiography and scanning electron microscope and energy dispersive X-Ray spectrometry.

This is the first time it has been possible to identify a fake painting by relying on the anomalous behaviour of the concentration of the radioactive form of carbon (14C) in the atmosphere after 1955 to date the canvas.

These findings were recently published in EPJ Plus by Mariaelenea Fedi of the National Institute of Nuclear Physics (INFN) in Florence, Italy, and colleagues.

Though they demonstrated that the fibres in the canvases differed and that different pigments were used in the two paintings, they did not arrive at conclusive evidence.

This study shows that it was necessary to perform an analysis using accelerator mass spectrometry of a sample of the canvas to conclusively date the painting.

Vandervaart’s collaborator at the time, Forrest Wozniak, eventually invited Rebholz to work with him on sign painting, which led to larger projects.

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