Oil on canvas nocturne style painting of a wave, 24" by 30" (28" by 34" as framed) by listed California artist ERNEST BROWNING SMITH (1866-1951). Smith is a familiar artist on the plein air scene and I believe his works are presently underrated in the marketplace. The artist had a trademark style; often the scenes in my experience are simplified, devoid of figures, and in a limited color palette. This nocturne is executed in shades of blue. It does not appear to be signed on the front but in old pencil on the original stretcher appears a title, "Surf Night", and then "Ernest Browning Smith". The artist often seemed to have worked on relatively coarse canvases, and the canvas weave here is coarse. The painting really needs a cleaning/varnish to bring out the color, and there is an "L" shaped tear at lower left, a 3/4" tear at upper right, and large craquelure at upper right. This is all correctable with professional restoration. The apparently original period frame shows the bumps and wear associated with its age and it seems that someone caused it to pick up some fine splatters of white paint at one time, as if from a wall roller, at bottom (that is not on the painting itself though). I'd date the painting as from the 1920's to the 1940's.
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