By well listed HENDRIK GERRIT TEN CATE (1803-1856) is this 9 1/2" by 13" watercolor on paper painting (15" by 19" as framed), laid long ago to a card, the subject a few chickens pecking the soil in front of a ramshackle thatch roofed structure I would think might be a barn or out building, except for the telltale domestic woodsmoke venting from the roof. The painting is actually signed "H.J. ten Kaet" at lower left. I'm not an expert on the large ten Cate family of painters in the Netherlands, but as with the large and prolific Koekkoek artist family, it was not uncommon for extended artist family members to paint under pseudonyms or slightly changed names, in order to make the works appear more scarce or allow them to be sold outside an existing gallery/artist relationship. I think that the most likely explanation for this particular work. The piece has great age and is in good though not flawless condition. There is an old mat browning line at top and a few abrasions show as white areas. You would want to freshly mat this, and a new frame would improve the presentation, though the present, simple modern frame is perfectly acceptable. See the net for more on the ten Cate artists of the Netherlands.
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