This is a nicely executed watercolor of a cathedral on the banks of a river, identified by an old pencil inscription on the reverse as "At Mantes on the Seine". Measuring 9 1/2" by 13 1/2" inside the mat opening and 15 1/2" by 20" as framed behind Plexiglas, the work appears to be unsigned. In the style of the times, the drawing was glued to a thin board, long ago. This piece was found at a local estate along with another watercolor in my shop, item JB03162 (unsigned landscape of Heidelberg, Germany). Although they were identically and simultaneously framed in Los Angeles in 1999, I do not necessarily think them by the same artist or even from the same period. This work feels earlier, to perhaps before even 1850, judging from the clothing worn by the tiny figures. The work exhibits some fading from light exposure, and the paper has evenly oxidized. In the composition are foxing spots----three or four in the sky, and a similar number in the foreground. The painting is a survivor and a fascinating look at life in France in the 19th century. Mantes is an historical town on the Seine River thirty miles west of Paris. The church (not technically considered a cathedral but nevertheless very interesting to architectural historians, according to Wikipedia information), was constructed between 1155 and 1350. Much of the town of Mantes was heavily damaged by bombardment during World War II. **Allow for reflections in the Plexiglas**
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