A rare prize for the specialist collector of Ohio art, this is an oil on canvas laid on board, the subject an impressionistic sketch of a patch of woodland in greens and browns, 8 5/8" by 11 1/2" plus narrow simple framing, signed in red at lower right "W. M. Darling". Darling is known today as the "Dean of Toledo Artists", a title earned after a lifetime of distinction in painting. Darling studied at age 14 with Henry Mosler in Cincinnati, and by 19 was in Europe with Mosler, exposed to the rich artistic environment then flourishing in Munich under Frank Duveneck. Thereafter, there was study at the Royal Academy, Academie Julian, with Laurens and Benjamin Constant, and, later, back in the US, with William Merritt Chase. While in Europe, Darling became enamored with the village of Laren, Holland, painting landscapes and interiors in the picturesque, traditional town. At the start of World War I after a short period in New York City, Darling settled into Toledo, Ohio, determined to make it into a vital and thrving art scene, which he succeeded in doing, influencing generations of younger artists. This example is sketchy but obviously by the hand of a highly talented artist. The signature is difficult to read but I guarantee this to be an authentic work by the artist, and the old Toledo framing sticker affixed to the new backing is further confirmation of the origin of the painting. (The writing in white on the new backing paper says "Jubilee Gallery 47 Henry Street Brooklyn Heights 5-03"---obviously this was framed there within the past decade). Condition: the canvas was laid on board but there is an irregular surface, leading to lumpiness, generally on the right hand half of the painting, where the canvas has detached itself from the backing. At one point there is horizontal paint loss as shown, on the crest of one of these "bubbles". See the net for more on the work of Darling. .
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