Watercolor and gouache on paper landscape painting somewhere in New Zealand, 11" by 18" inside the mat (" by " as framed, without glass), signed at lower extreme left corner "T. RYAN" and dated there 1886. This is an early work, executed when the artist, THOMAS RYAN (1864-1927) would have been only about 22 years of age. It is also of an early enough date to be of historical interest. There could be a title/geographical place on the reverse side of the sheet, but the work is affixed at least at the corners and some margins, and possibly at places within the image as well, so any title might be hidden. Ryan worked in watercolor but oil as well, recording landscapes, people and Maori themes from the 1880's through the 1920's. Works appear at auction in New Zealand but even there they seem to be scarce. This watercolor bears the scars of time, with paper oxidation and chemical alteration of the pigments in many places, especially the sky and water. The darkened sky appears to be heavy oxidation browning of the paper, whereas the lighter areas appear to be places where gouache did NOT allow time to alter those areas chemically in the same manner as the background. Paper restorers could likely fix or reduce this effect though at a cost of course. There is also some ballooning effect in a few areas from the way this is affixed to the backing. Still the rare, historical work is worth saving for posterity, and investment to repair it would be I think well advised. Ask for more images of the condition issues.
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