Samuel Colman (1832-1920, sometimes misspelled as "Coleman") is today regarded as an important American artist of the nineteenth century, some of his works selling into the six figures at major auction. A traveler, he strayed far from his New England roots, taking in exotic locales in the Mediterranean, continental Europe, Mexico, and, notably, the American West. After training under Asher B. Durand and Carolus-Duran, he exhibited at the National Academy of Design in New York as early as 1850, becoming a full member of that elite organization by 1862. Throughout the last half of the century, he painted fine and highly finished works, generally of landscape and architecture, in the Hudson River style, sometimes with a romantic flair (some works are compared with those of Thomas Moran). Colman was the first president of the American Watercolor Society after that medium became popular after the Civil War. He was also a member of the Boston Art Club and Brooklyn Art Association. Later in life, a friend of Louis Comfort Tiffany, Colman was a high-level interior designer for the famous of the time, and he wrote several books dealing with geometry in art. Today, Colman's works are handled by the finest auction houses and fine art galleries, and his name is included in countless publications. This print (14" by 16") dates to the latter years of the century, and the view is of a scene in continental Europe, perhaps France or Belgium. Colman signed his name at bottom right in pencil and the work is also signed in the plate. For photography purposes, I removed it from the battered old original 19th century frame. The paper has oxidized over the course of more than a century, and the old original wood backing boards have contributed some of their acid to the paper, particularly in a horizontal line across the reverse side. There is generalized foxing, browning, and modest staining especially at right margin. When I took this from the frame, it was no doubt the first time it had ever been removed. The work was found recently as-is in southern Maine. See the net for much more information on this illustrious and accomplished artist. SEE HUNDREDS OF OTHER WORKS OF ART NOW IN MY SHOP.
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