The missing oil

My fear that we might have mislaid one of Jenny’s works materialised when I was comparing the works we had with images in the photo albums and on her computer. There is no photograph in her albums of the still life pictured above, but this image was saved to her computer in 2013. For a while I thought I had the actual canvas in one of those bubble wrapped 30 x 30 packages, but when we had finished listing all the oils it wasn’t there. I was sure I recognised it. Had I seen it in the studio – had she sold it? There is no other record of it. The photograph was obviously taken in her studio, but when was it painted and where is it now? Did she photograph it when she thought it was finished? Or did she rework or destroy it? Or had I indeed somehow lost it?

There are some clues which could provide possible answers. The objects in the missing oil are arranged in a circle and are touching each other: this is unusual but there is another Still Life finished 2013 in which the objects are grouped together. In this painting (left, below) the colour palette is quite different. A second oil from 2013 uses the same colour palette and two of the objects from the missing oil. They are both, like the ‘missing’ oil, 30 x 30 cms. 2013 is a possible date for the painting.

But a much earlier still life has an uncanny echo of the missing oil. It also has 6 objects. They are arranged in two rows, forming a trapezium. The four objects on the left and in the middle are the same objects in the same position as in the ‘missing’ painting. The two on the extreme right could also be the same drawn from a different perspective.

Still Life 2000 oil on canvas 50 x 30 cms

The similarity with the 2000 painting is so marked that I think the balance of probablities is that the ‘missing’ oil was painted and finished around 2000. But if that is so it is more than odd that there is no other record of it, as when Jenny acquired a better camera, sometime after 2006, she photographed most of her finished works still in the studio and arranged them in albums. I have a faint hope someone may see it on this blog and be able to tell me its fate, otherwise it must remain not just missing but a mystery for all time.