Pastel on thin board or paper laid on board, 12" by 18" (21" by 26" as framed), the subject the swampy shore of a small lake or pond with distant scattered trees, signed in the lower right corner "A. Joullin". This is a very fresh, clean work by a noted Northern California artist of the 19th and early 20th century. Joullin was born in San Francisco and he died in that city, so his place in Northern California art is assured. According to a detailed biography appearing on the site of The North Point Gallery, Joullin exhibited an early desire to become an artist, a desire that his father tried to subdue by directing his son to the engraving business. However Joullin the younger's drive to become an artist persisted, and he graduated from the California School of Design at age 19. He studied and became friendly with the noted, wordly French painter Jules Tavernier, taking lessons from him, before two years of study in Paris. By 1887 Joullin was launching his art career in San Francisco, meeting with excellent critical review, painting familiar local sights such as Chinatown and the dunes around the western edge of the city. In fact he became known as a specialist in painting sand dune environments. Today Joullin's paintings sell at fine galleries and at auctions like Bonhams and Butterfields, and his work is included in the comprehensive collection of the Oakland Museum. There is no title on this work and no date; see images of the reverse of the board which shows some foxing spots, but the work itself is very clean. I note a small brown spot in the sky at upper right. Note that all photos were taken through the non-glare glass, so the actual painting is even better than the images would suggest. I recommend discarding this glass. The frame is modern and functional though not especially flattering to the work. The painting was found near Santa Barbara. .
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