Large oil on canvas extensive landscape: a surprisingly modern feeling scene and a blonde, light modern color palette, the scene framed by strange marbled columns with a gate and religious crosses, such as seen in southern Germany and the Tirol of Austria, measuring 29 1/2" by 34 1/2" (41 1/2" by 46 1/2" as elaborately framed), signed at lower right in capital letters "URBAN", further signed on the reverse in the artist's distinctive manner with a shield like device, titled OP(us)2560 and dated XI 1921. For a long time after I acquired this out of a Pasadena, CA estate where it had hung for many years, I was not sure as to authorship, thinking it might be by artist Joseph Urban. More recently, much more information has now become available, and thanks to much information I've discovered on google and askart, I can now confidently say this is a work by noted German artist Professor HERMANN URBAN (1866-1946) (some give death year as 1948). Urban was a fixture, a powerful personality, in the Munich school of southern Germany in the late 19th century. He studied with Arnold Bocklin and was encouraged by Wilhelm Leibl and Franz von Stuck. Born to an opera singer mother and dentist/physician father, in New Orleans, early in life he traveled extensively with his parents internationally. In the later years of the nineteenth century Urban was exposed to all the enriching art currents in Munich, then an international center of painting. By 1908 he was himself appointed professor by Royal Prince Regent Luitpold of Bavaria. Shortly thereafter, in 191, Urban made a trip to Egypt, and the strong, intense light he encountered there evidently became incorporated into his painting style, as is evident in the present example. The professor is today known for his (estimated) 4,000 utopian landscapes of southern Germany and Italy. He is also a focus of interest today because of his extensive, scholarly research into the technical aspects of painting and painting materials, including, notably, encaustic (wax). Toward the end of his life, the artist's heroic Germanic landscapes, appearing in National Socialist directed art exhibitions, were used in the furtherance of the Nazi ideology. A 1944 fire in his Munich studio caused a tragic loss of many paintings and most of his research materials. After that event, Urban moved to the town of Bad Aibling, about 35 miles southeast of Munich. It is with Bad Aibling that he is now commonly associated. Urban's works appear frequently at auction in Germany and Austria. He is becoming more widely known now, sixty years after his death. This painting is in excellent condition, having come directly out of an estate where it resided for many years. The paint is stable, and only some stiff rippling of the canvas is evident. The frame is in excellent condition. This is a rather large work for the artist and as such should command a higher price in today's marketplace for his work. See the net for very interesting information on his life and career. .
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