Watercolor on paper drawing, 15 1/2" by 21 1/2" (18 3/4" by 24 3/4" framed), the subject an ancient stone monastery perched on a dramatic cliffside with high coastal mountains in the distance at right. The work is signed at lower right "Balke-Gry" /1919/Pantocrator". My research online has led me to conclude that this scene is of a monastery at Mount Athos, the holy peninsula in northern Greece which is the home of numerous famous monasteries, open just to males. The artist, THEODORE CHARLES BALKE (1874-1951), is known for Orientalist works of Tunisian markets and street scenes, but obviously worked other parts of the Mediterranean. Most known pieces are oils, at least one of which achieved $8,000 at auction. The work is in good condition save for old mat burn around three edges, as seen in photos. Though framed, it has not been professionally matted, as there is no mat, and the work is against the glass directly. At extreme bottom on the board there is old French newspaper print adhering. See the net for images of the monastery and information on this most interesting peninsula, famed for the self-imposed isolation of its residents. .
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