A PAIR of oil on canvas works, each 14" by 10", unframed, featuring hanging wild birds against a simulated wood-grain background, painted in the then-popular realistic trompe l'oeil manner of painters like William Harnett in America, or Michelangelo Meucci (1840-1909) in Italy. The paintings likely date to about the 1880's. They are signed but despite my best efforts, I have been unable to make out the worn and faint signature. An image of that area is provided. The works over more than 125 years have acquired some nicks and faults as indicated by the patches affixed to the reverse by a restorer. There is some corresponding spots of inpainting and the varnish is uneven. Frame in lemon gold and watch the transformation. From normal viewing distance the imperfection of the surface is much less noticeable. The paintings could be of American origin, or, European.
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