This oil on canvas painting of a waterfall in a forest, the light refracting the spray into a rainbow, was acquired by me more than 15 years ago here in Los Angeles. Measuring 14 1/2" by 11 3/4" (19" by 16" in circa 1930 frame), it retains some evidence of a signature, in red, at lower right, that signature ending in "s"; and on the stretcher confidently written in an old hand is "F. De Bergh Richards". (His name has been variously spelled as "De Berg", "DeBourg", etc.). I can say it is possibly by the artist, or can attribute it to him, but without certainty. In any event the landscape is very pleasing and peaceful and the handling of the light around the falls masterful. Richards was born in Wilmington, Delaware and died in Philadelphia, and today he is known for landscapes of rural Pennsylvania, and the New Jersey coast, although he traveled in the western states and frequently to Europe. A number of western landscapes are known. Many if not most works are executed in a realist style reflecting the Hudson River School influence. The artist also created prints and operated a Daguerreotype photography studio in Philadelphia between 1848 and 1856. CONDITION: The painting was evidently exposed to moisture at one time. As a result, the bottom 3 1/2" was damaged. A past restorer overpainted this area rather crudely (see image giving some indication of the roughness and irregular surface). I don't know if further restoration could undo some or all of this, or if a more legible signature might be uncovered. There is also an inpainted area corresponding to the white patch on the reverse. Considering all this, it would be fair to say that I am offering the work as an attractive American 19th century landscape needing restoration.
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