This is an oil on board miniature work, 5" by 7 1/8" (7 3/4" by 9 7/8" including modern frame), signed in red intials at lower left and bearing an early pencil title on the reverse "Chapel by the Wayside/Italian Scenery", and then in possibly another hand "J.A. HEKKING" and an early price of $125. A luminous work by the noted Hudson River artist JOSEPH ANTONIO HEKKING (1830-1903), this little painting packs a lot of impact for such a small work. Unfortunately it's presently EXTREMELY dirty, with smoke film making everything yellow/brown. I think with a professional cleaning, the painting will be unrecognizable compared to its present state. It's very, very original, having come out of an estate in Norwalk, Connecticut recently, and it bears a Darien, Connecticut modern framer's label. Hekking is most associated with the New York/Connecticut area as well as Michigan. He exhibited at the National Academy, and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, and was known in his time as a painter of the Adirondack Mountains and the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Today he's classified firmly in the Hudson River School, and like a number of those artists (think Albert Bierstadt and Worthington Whittredge), he painted in Europe early in his career. This painting probably dates to the 1860s. It's a little gem and just wants a cleaning and more elaborate frame to make it prime New York City fine gallery material. There's a pinkie-nail sized chip in the board at right center from nail contact and some saliva marks where someone rubbed a finger over the lower left corner to see the signature better. I am guaranteeing this to be a work by the artist. See auction records well into the thousands for larger works. .
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