sabato 13 giugno 2015



- Canvass size: cm. 54 x 30.5
- Painting technique: work painted with natural pigments diluted in oil.
- Subject: Claude Monet, on hinny mule, enters Italy along the old Roman road to the milestone of Ventimiglia, where flows the river Nervia, where grows a reeds where birds nest not only. 
- Date: December 1882 -  January 1883
- Attributable to: Claude Monet together Auguste Renoir
- Client: Count Avogadro General Luigi di Vigliano and Montacavallo (+).
- Testimonial: Count Fabrizio Avogadro di Vigliano e Montacavallo (in Turin, Italy).
- Last owner: Umberto Joackim Barbera, private collector (in Turin Italy).

- Studies on the picture: 

You carefully examine the details of the painting:

1) the shadow of the Mule, from which it appears that the Sun is to the West (afternoon)
the Roman road that runs along the sea from France to Italy.

2) the tall reeds near a milestone along a Roman road.

3) a telegraph line, which indicates the date of the painting.

4) a White House backdrop, but not far from the milestone.

5) a slope in the distance with white clouds over the hills.

6) Finally in the lower left corner
 the self-portrait of the author: Claude Monet:

7) DATING:  There will be a curious clue escaped inserted in the landscape: the telegraph pole to convey that type codes invented by Samuel Morse in 1837.

THE TELEGRAPH POLE! In this context, the post is on the right, on the edge of the road, facing the sea. But already existed in 1882 a telegraph line between the Italy to France?  From Wikipedia, we learn the following: < In Italy a month from June 30, 1847 tests, introduces the first electromagnetic Telegraph (dial) by Carlo Matteucci between Pisa and Livorno. And in August 1848 by Pisa along the last stretch of the railway Leopolda and complete the line Livorno-Firenze. Follow Lucca (June 15, 1849), Poggibonsi and Siena (3 December). Finally, in 1850, completes the line Florence-Prato-Pistoia-Pescia-Lucca. While the first external telegraph line to Italy is the joint trattoLubiana-Trieste (179 km) where, on February 12, 1849, opens the first telegraph office in Italy governed by the Austrians. Is directly connected to Viennaper via a single wire for dispatches. Always in Trieste on 18 February 1850, for the first time in Italy, the telegraphic service is also open to private correspondence and is among the most rapid and relevant in EuropeIn the Lombardy-Veneto, instead, the beginning of work to introduce the telegraphic system in 1849 with the Innsbruck-Verona line (which came from Vienna) and from here to Milan and Venice, initially for military use and then made available to civilian use from October 19, 1850. The December 31, 1851 to that line is merged the line Verona-Mantova-Modena-Reggio Emilia. The September 1, 1852 it is joined to the network Tuscany Florence-Lucca-Pisa-Livorno (completed in 1851) and Florence-Siena. IL1 September 1851 opened the first line of the Kingdom of the two Sicilies between Caserta and Capua [1], extended the following year to Gaeta. The November 24, 1851 opened the line Turin-Genoa, and Turin line January 18, 1853-Chambery, which the March 15 will be connected to a network that already unites French lines, Belgian French, English, German. In 1861 the telegraph offices in Italy are 355 to 16,000 km of lines; in 1871 1,237 offices for 50,000 km of lines.> So the presence of the telegraph pole painted by Monet confirms that in 1882 there was a link between Genoa and the Riviera Principality of Monaco, connected to the Midì.

To find out where the place depicted by the painting, you must remember a town that you may have been a "milestone" which in Roman times was placed to demarcate boundaries or mark visibly distances. In this painting, observed the shape of the ground and noticed a particular background white construction, to a sort of "déjà vu" or vague memory, it is assumed that would be the milestone on the Roman road that leads from Ventimiglia border at Dolceacqua in Bordighera and then: so that it can be the entry into Italy of Claude Monet by mule.

Bordighera is a delightful country before Sanremo riparian, much loved by the British which had built big and luxurious hotels and a golf course to the sea.

Claude Monet went to Bordighera on patrol for the first time in 1882 with his friend August Renoir, and a second time two years later in 1884, where he stayed for a month and stay in cosy and cheap "British" where he met a Dutch painter who taught him to give more shine to paintings using predominantly yellow both liked to mutual friend Vincent van Gogh.

To PAINT a "CANNETO" , reed plants, this painting does not belong and is not catalogued among the predominant colour bright yellow, executed in Bordighera, but was instead run with predominant colors on brown, green and blue, so it infers that it was painted in 1882 when for the first time with Monet and Renoir passed the border to enter Italy and painted like the Impressionists first manner.

It was necessary to verify where this place was, Umberto J. Barbera jumped on his red Jaguar and went to Ventimiglia, the last Italian town on the border with France, in search of reeds where it flows the river Nervia.

The site is located at the bottom of the sea promenade of Ventimiglia, going to Bordighera. Even today the town, site protected by community interests, is popular with artists who like to portray nesting birds in the reeds.

attributable à Claude Monet

The site is located at the bottom of the sea promenade of Ventimiglia, going to Bordighera. Even today the town, site protected by community interests, is popular with artists who like to portray nesting birds in the reeds.
To be certain of the authenticity, the painting has been subjected to extensive tests "multispectral" made by Prof. Thierry Radelet, a professor at the School of multispectral techniques of restoration of Venaria Reale (Turin), now associated with the study of restoration of Count Persano. Based on these studies, multi-spectral Professor Radelet has certified that the age of the painting is compatible with that assumed in 1882.
Also Joackim Umberto Barbera, the current owner of the work, submitted the painting to special investigations using a method which he himself experienced: using a mobile phone equipped with camera lens and the magnification option "zoom", approached the goal grazing to the painting and photographed discovering under the surface film of painting a portrait of August Renoir who accompanied him on his first voyage of "exploration" of the Italian west coast.

portrait of August Renoir
discovered on the bottom of the road
under a veil of painting

In addition, on the edge of the road overlooking the sea, Claude Monet portrayed the face of his second wife, Alice Raingo Heschedé, widow of his friend Ernest Heschedé (+1877) with one of six children born from two marriages of Alice. A nostalgic memory emerged in pictorial inspiration and a way as any to certify its painted with a painting intimate and emotional, made in the preparation of the canvas cm. 54x30.5 ?

Madame Alice Heschedé (and his son)
  second wife of Claude Monet
portrayed on the right side of the road
in the foreground
under a layer of paint.

How would form these images on the canvas?

The photo-impression of mental images on a canvas prepared with egg white and powdered stone mesmeric (magnetite), more vapors of silver iodide, was part of the experiments of dr. Anton Mesmer, contemporary composer Volfang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791), to whom he dedicated "The comic opera - So do all" (= L'opera buffa, così fnno tutte") in which two lovers died for love, were brought back to life by a zealous domestic Prosperpina, which He applied their stone mesmeric, a magnetic (magnet) that according to the dr. Mesmer could affect animal magnetism he discovered.
The experiment of painting mesmeric occurred after preparing the canvas, as said, with a thin veil of egg white powder mixed with magnetite. The same stone mesmeric (magnetite) was then split in two and used by placing it in a headset like two headsets, so that each of them were resting on his temple. Then resting his forehead on the canvas, it was to establish a semi-circular magnetic flux that would potentiate the induction of a mental image to photo-imprint on the canvas (painting mental, otherwise known as "paint thinner").
This method of painting secret was used to mark the work of art with the purpose of anti-sophistication or proof of authenticity, because in 1800 there was no technological process in order to photograph these images covered by the surface layer of pigment. In fact he not yet is known photography infrared whose frequency that penetrates the painting by some "microns" allowing you to see hidden images in depth.
However the latter test, the comparison of the face mesmeric found with that of Madame Heschedé, Joackim the show to Monsieur Wildenstein last moment, betting the existence of this evidence against his immediate authentication of the painting.

Lunch course offered by ...
Umberto Joackim Barbera

"The painting is not for sale, but the dessert we could talk about that!"


This painting has been presented, I hope with mutual satisfaction, friend Monsieur Bertrand Marret of the Foundation Cartier Bresson, who has appreciated the pictorial qualities nineteenth century.

Bertrand Marret in Turin


Leon Werth écrivait ARTS dans du 5 décembre 1947: "Renoir et Monet, dans leur jeunesse, dit-il, peignirent en même temps a même motif: feuillage, eau, canards. Quarante ans plus tard, the un des deux tableaux se trouve chez Durand-Durel. Est-ce the tableau de Monet? Est-ce the tableau de Renoir? Ni ni Monet Renoir, one consultés et l'autre, he n'ont pu donner une attribution. Je tiens the fait de Monet lui-même. "(Michel de Decker, "Claude Monet's" Pygmalion, page 306).


"Exams multispectral", Umberto Joackim Barbera, 
published by Newtel Ltd., Sciolze, 2011. particular issue.

Photo-technical examinations carried out:

1 - Photography in diffused light, shaving, macro photographs and Fluorescence U.V. made with Canon 5D Mark II;
2 - Ultraviolet fluorescence lamp with mercury vapor filter of Wood;
3 - Infrared B / W from 780 to 950 nm with camera Fuji S3Pro IRUV;
4 - Infrared B / W from 780 to 1150 nm with a CCD camera MUSIS 2007;
5 - False-color infrared 500-950 nm with camera Fuij S3Pro IRUV;
6 - Digital radiography with phosphor plates (50 microns) and the scanner reading Durr.

Spectral analysis on colors:
- The ivory color of the road, made up of white lead, basic carbonate of lead with impurities of iron and calcium.
- The green color of the lawn below the house in the background: the presence of chromium and zinc (green Guignet), Calcium and Lead in the layer of preparation. Traces of copper and arsenic due to a different green. Perhaps due to the presence of iron lands.
- The dark green beside the house: green made from Arsenic and Copper, perhaps green Scheele. Presence of Iron in the layer of preparation, or clouds of Prussian blue, ferric ferrocyanide. Lead in drafting primer almost absent zinc.
- Blue sky, light area: Zinc likely component of blue light in admixture with Prussian blue, responsible for the presence of iron. The sky appears slightly bluish all'IRFC, unequivocal sign of a Prussian blue. Lead reveals his counts in the layer of primer.

Notes: examination of the colors, it is not apparent in any case the presence of black color. Indeed Monet combined several bright colors to create the appearance of darkness. This characteristic of avoiding the black color is so ingrained in the manner of Monet that his death (1926), his friend Georges Clemenceau withdrew the black cloth that had covered the coffin in the funeral of the home and the church, he exclaimed: "No! Pas de noir pour Monet! "(= No, not black for Monet!). And replaced it with a floral drape.


Expert conclusion of Prof. Thierry Radelet, a professor of "Techniques multi-spectral" at the School of Restoration of Venaria Reale (Turin): "A comparison of all the multi spectral analysis, it appears that the painting is done with a painting technique compatible with time allocation, that is, the end of XIX beginning of XX century". Signed Thierry Radelet.


Statement to the Ministry of National Heritage and Culture, Office of Export Turin, of 17.3.2010, Prot. N. 245 - Export license granted n. 51 of 17.3.2010 to its rightful owner Umberto Barbera Turin:

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CEO: Umberto Joackim Barbera : e-mail: <>  - I-Phone: +39 3485116565