Oil on canvas painting of a small house in the trees, 20" by 24" plus narrow strip wood frame, signed at lower right "Stahl" and dated there "42", titled on reverse "Laurel Ave." and signed and dated again there. This is an early work (**ONE OF TWO IN MY SHOP, THE OTHER VERY SIMILAR, JUST A BIT LARGER; I would like to keep them together because they make a most interesting pair), by the important, well-listed American illustrator artist and art educator BENJAMIN A. STAHL (1910-1987). Stahl was Chicago-born, and traveled to Mexico and apparently California as well, before settling into Weston, Connecticut and eventually, Sarasota, Florida. Stahl studied at the Art Institute of Chicago before launching an impressive career in American illustration. he worked for the Saturday Evening Post, among other prestigious publications. His name appears in most comprehensive works on American illustration art, including the landmark "The Illustrator in America" by Walt Reed, and paintings and drawings from Stahl's hand appear frequently at auctions around the nation. This painting exhibits extensive craquelure throughout the image, and there are some losses, especially in an area at lower left (essentially lost in the busy imagery), but also in a few other spots. I would say though that the surface is basically stable. Laurel Canyon of course is the famous, celebrity-studded neighborhood of Los Angeles, and a favorite nest for artistically-talented people. This work was likely created when Stahl was visiting or living in Los Angeles during his early 30's. See the net for much, much more on Stahl's long career in the fine arts.
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