Oil on canvas painting titled on the stretcher in pencil "Superstition Mountain, Arizona", signed at lower left by the well listed California artist PAUL LAURITZ (1889-1975). The scene is of the legendary, rugged and forbidding mountain range just to the east of the metropolitan Phoenix area, said to contain the fabled Lost Dutchman mine. The painting measures 22" by 34" and 28" by 40" framed. Lauritz is considered one of the important plein air painters, a number of works having exceeded $25,000 at auction. Born in Norway in an area favored by artists, he was exposed to art at an early age, and in fact was encouraged by important Norwegian artists Frits Thaulow and Christian Kroger. In his mid teens he traveled to eastern Canada to pursue work in mining, and shortly thereafter he moved to western Canada and then Alaska in search of gold. While in Alaska he met Sydney Laurence and exhibited alongside him. Able to find only commercial art work in the Pacific Northwest, he settled in Los Angeles in 1919 and began what became a very long painting career. Lauritz painted the desert, mountains, California's coast, snow scenes, and other landscapes. He exhibited widely and came to be a very active member of the Southern California and Los Angeles art community. This work came out of an estate recently and is in as-found condition, in need of a good cleaning and some restoration of a few losses, scuffs, and small unstable areas at very bottom. I believe that after cleaning, it will be truly transformed; a lot of what I believe to be the brownish/yellow nicotine/smoke is now obscuring the true colors. A hint of blue peeking through at the very top edge by the framing is suggestive of a blue and white sky below the grime.
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