Oil on canvas painting of a coastal village in England, 14" by 24" (20 1/2" by 30 1/2" as nicely framed in mid 20th century gold frame), signed at lower left "W. Thornbury". This work is by a prolific (over 1,000 works in the auction record), talented, well listed, English artist who was active in the second half of the nineteenth century, WILLIAM THORNLEY (approximate birth date 1830, death date circa 1898 though I have seen online that he was active through 1903). Thornley painted genre, marines, shipping and coastal scenes in a traditional manner, and as was common in Victorian times, he often signed his paintings with differing names. "William Thornbery", "William Thornbury", and "William Thornberry" are known variants. The auction record shows that paintings have approached the $10,000 area, with many going under the hammer between $3,000 and $6,000. This example, larger than most by the artist, has significant condition issues. It was torn in the sky and the generally vertical tears were "repaired" with simple packing tape and other non-professional restorations, as shown. There is overpaint in much of the sky, showing as mustard/greenish areas, and other evidence of work not exactly to museum standards. At the present time there is an "L" shaped newer tear at lower right center, in the prominent, close red boat with bare mast, that is not addressed. Happily, the more important part of the painting, the lower portion, has largely escaped damage. Hanging on the wall at normal viewing distance, the accumulated damage and clumsy restoration is not immediately apparent. A skilled and patient restorer can, I think, bring this painting back to where it should be. I think that money spent on restoration of this work will be well spent.
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