This early, signed, dated, stone lithograph is fraught with symbolism and pathos. The 25" X 29" original, in its carved wood frame, shows a scene with 10 people, in mourning, gathered for the reading of the will. Eight of these people, and an owl, looking shocked and angry, stare menacingly toward the two at the far right. First wife is seated at the left, second wife, or mistress, younger and prettier, seems to be the beneficiary of the old mans will. The room is disheveled, the argument may not be over. Josef Franz Danhauser, Austrian artist, was best known for his Biedermeier designed furniture, but he was also a popular realist artist. The lithograph is initialed "JD", and dated 1839. A brass plaque, on the frame, is lightly inscribed with the name of the work, the artist, and date. On the back the name tag, "Opening Of The Will", in fine script, still remains. This piece is all original, and just came to us from a Michigan estate.
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