A particularly nice (and I think, fairly early) watercolor by the well-known Bahamian artist Alfred Birdsey (1912-1996). Birdsey was born in England, but spent most of his life in the Bahamas, painting in and around Hamilton, and selling his art to the tourist trade, both in the Bahamas and on Cape Cod, where his daughter ran a gallery.
This is an interesting example of his watercolor style, as it much more abstract than the pieces you usually see. It's a street scene with buildings, fences, palm trees and a single female figure, but all the elements have been reduced to the bare minimum, indicated with light washes of watercolor and Birdsey's bold and signature use of black ink. I would guess this work dates to the late 1950s or early 1960s, based on the style.
It's a really wonderful Modernist piece, evoking the light and atmosphere of the Caribbean without descending into kitsch. It is also much starker and crisper than his later, more impressionistic work.
It is matted and framed in a nice, simple, white-painted wood frame.
Size: sight is 19.75" by 17". frame is 25.75" by 22.75".
Condition: minor handling crease to top left corner of work, very slight wear to the paint on the vintage frame, mat slightly toned at interior edge, otherwise fine.
Mark: boldly signed "Birdsey" in the lower right corner.
Item ID: 4226