A pleasant plein air oil painting of the California desert in the spring, 24" by 30" (27" by 33" in likely original vintage frame), circa 1940's, signed at lower right by the well known California artist JOHN ANTHONY CONNER (1892-1971). The painting captures the luminous landscape in spring when the sun is high overhead in the desert. Conner was born in Illinois, a descendant of both suffragette Susan B. Anthony and Gilbert Stuart, the artist. After serving in World War I he moved to Los Angeles and worked with several of the studios, including MGM. He eventually settled in Eagle Rock, painting landscapes, coastals, seascapes and portraits, as well as missions and cowboys. A prolific artist, his satisfying works are popular with collectors of plein air art. This example, titled on reverse of frame in pencil "Springtime Desert", has had some restoration, since it apparently became wet at some point as stains on the reverse of the canvas indicate. The moisture likely caused some paint to separate or raise up from the thin canvas (some light can be seen through it when held to a bright source). There has been some overpainting of some of those areas of loss, especially in the central mountain and at right and left edges. As seen in images of the reverse, there are several small patches on the canvas. The casual observer however does not immediately take notice of the flaws; looks like a decorative painting for the wall. The attractive old frame has some wear consistent with its age.
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