This unframed 20" by 24" oil on canvas landscape painting is something of a mystery. It is signed "J.V.C." and dated 1851 at lower left (see very close up photos), and on the wood stretcher on the reverse is incised "John V. Cornell New York". I believe there is an excellent possibility that this is a work by the historical New York painter John V. Cornell but I cannot prove it. He seems to have been an obscure fellow, though he is listed in the book of historical painters born before 1860, and there is a listing in Hughes' dictionary of California painters. The listing says Cornell painted in California in 1851 and 1852. I suppose this could be an extremely early California scene but, perhaps it is not. I purchased it at Brimfield in Massachusetts. It is a skillfully executed painting in the early Hudson River style, and is definitely American and not English, despite the English looking house. Note the single figure at center. The feathery trees and extensive view to the distance are beautifully executed. The painting is dusty and despite a wax reline it needs some further restoration. There is stretcher bar show through and craquelure.
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