Oil on canvas Italian scene of the famous Bay of Naples with smoking Vesuvius volcano, unsigned, circa 1880 to 1900, measuring 18" by 28" (23 1/2" by 33 1/2" as framed). This is a charming scene, painted many times since the 17th century, of fishing boats in the bay, the backdrop being an ornate tower at left, distant houses on hillsides, and at right the curling smoke plume of simmering Mount Vesuvius. The painting is somewhat primitive, not painted by a listed artist, most likely, but he or she was talented, and, judging from the overall handling and materials, most likely by an AMERICAN ARTIST. There is a bit of the Hudson River School tradition in the overall look. I think the painting was probably done from an old etching or other print the artist had seen; I doubt he painted this on the Naples docks. The work is extremely dirty, probably having endured decades of smoke and grime. I believe that were it professionally cleaned, this would be one of those paintings that is really and truly transformed---I think it would be unrecognizable. I'm tempted to invest the money myself, in this case, to see if I could more than recoup it after the work is done. There is an abrasion and small tear at top left that needs to be looked after, and one or two other very small loss areas. The paint is stable though and I don't think a reline would be necessary. The original frame is showing its age and has some losses. There's a light fixture at top, to be included with the painting. .
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