This is an oil study (canvas, laid on very old crumbling board, ) 15" by 18", (the inexpensive frame available), signed at lower left by FERNAND LUNGREN (1859-1932). The scene is titled at lower right "Mail Coach at the Royal George". This would appear to be an illustration, perhaps for a publication, featuring an olde English scene of the 18th century. Lungren's western American-related works have brought large numbers at auction. According to the Hughes biography, the artist was born in Ohio, studying in the Cincinnati area, then moved on to Philadelphia where he was a pupil of Thomas Eakins. Subsequently, in New York, he was an illustrator at major publications like Harper's and Scribner's; this is the period when I imagine this would have likely been created. Paris followed. Back in Cincinnati he met Henry Farny and Joseph Henry Sharp, the famous artists of the American West. By the 1890's Lungren worked for the Santa Fe Railway, and in the next decade he roamed the Southwest, painting in Arizona and New Mexico. By 1903 he was in Southern California, settling finally in Santa Barbara. See askart for more on this talented western artist. Condition of the painting is not good, with considerable paint loss and flaking visible under close examination; but, the monochromatic palette tends to hide a lot of the losses, which are especially prevalent at upper left, lower left, and in the white foreground. Details at far left like the horse's head are completely missing. The flawed condition notwithstanding, this is an interesting and competently executed illustration work of a significant American artist. Properly framed, and/or restored, it will bring its next owner much pleasure.
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