A rarely seen print, featuring the familiar, landmark high bridge over the Arroyo Seco in Pasadena, California, by the well-known California plein air impressionist artist BENJAMIN CHAMBERS BROWN (1865-1942). The lithograph is in rich brown ink on watermarked paper (an "A" with eagle). The sheet measures roughly 13" by 16" (margins irregularly cut, though more than ample) and the printed image 9 3/4" by 13". The print is not pencil signed. It seems to be quite rare, as I have located only one example in the auction records, that example, apparently signed, hammering for $1200 in 1999 at John Moran Auction. This example is clean within the image, though margins are somewhat soiled and with creases; and when viewed from the reverse, there is a crease evident, which does NOT seem to be evident on the front side. The sheet is taped at top edge to board. There is an inexpensive modern frame (no glass). When freshly matted, as seen in the first image, none of the faults would be visible. The artist was born in Marion, Arkansas. After early art education at the University of Tennessee and the St. Louis School of Fine Arts, he traveled to Paris in 1890 with friend William Griffith, to study with Constant and Laurens. Upon his return he spent more time in St. Louis, Arkansas, and Texas, for a time opening a school in Little Rock. By 1896 we find him in Pasadena, California, where the dramatic scenery led him away from still life and portraiture and towards impressionist landscape painting, at which he excelled. By 1905 he was already quite recognized. After a brief stint in Marin County in the San Francisco Bay area, he returned to Pasadena, where during the teens he gathered recognition and awards for his popular work. Brown co-founded with his brother Howell the Print Makers of California in 1914. He was a member of the Pasadena Society of Artists, California Art Club, Chicago Society of Etchers, and the Laguna Beach Art Association. Brown's health was poor by 1925, though it improved during the 1930's. His oil paintings bring large sums at auction and he is regarded as one of the premier California plein air painters.
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