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Hudson River style American art 19th century luminist seascape painting signed
Oil on canvas classic nineteenth century luminism style seascape, unframed, 24" by 40", signed at lower right "SJ Woolf". I believe this to be a rather early work by SAMUEL JOHNSON WOOLF (1880-1948). The signature matches the known signature of this artist, who was a versatile painter in New York who became especially well known in the early years of the century. The record shows he was especially adept at portraits, though he painted cityscapes and New York area views as well. One would think that this painting would date to the 1870's or 1880's, judging from the subject, handling, and materials. So, I'm thinking that this might be a juvenile work of the artist dating from perhaps the turn of the century. It's something of a mystery, since there's no evidence that I can see that Woolf painted this sort of subject matter. The painting was purchased in coastal Maine. It has suffered careless treatment in its long life; there are three small tears of 1/2" to 1", careless inpainting in sky and along bottom edge and a few other spots, and it seems to be one of those paintings that attracts a sticky dust very quickly. On the reverse, four patches of fairly modern vintage correspond with the careless inpainting. So, it needs some work for sure. Call me to discuss----I can't possibly show everything in just the nine photos Ruby permits me to post per item!! I believe that once properly cleaned, repaired, and framed in a wide gold Hudson River style frame, this piece would be quite impressive. Note the diving sea birds and a barrel (commonly used device in such art, probably symbolizing the presence of man) in the scene, among the sea stacks. ..
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Jon Berg, Southern California, CA
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