This is a beautiful DOUBLE SIDED watercolor dated 1883 by the hand of listed American 19th century artist BENJAMIN FITZ (1855-1891), measuring 11 1/2" by 18 3/4" plus about 3 1/2" of liner and modern frame. I am not sure as to the authorship of the loose dry landscape on the reverse, which might be later and by a totally unrelated hand. The subject matter of the primary, signed painting is a rural scene of farm buildings by a small pond on which swim two ducks, their trails in the water plainly visible. It's pretty clearly a European scene, with the farm buildings probably thatch roofed. After the signature the artist wrote "Muenchen", so that would pretty much solidify the European nature of the subject matter, and establishes that the artist was likely in Munich for art schooling, it being a large center for art instruction at the time. Colors are rich and not faded, though there is a cracked lower right corner of the brittle paper and a horizontal crack in the paper about 2" long at upper left. Ask for more close photos of these issues. Note the second signature at lower left as well. The artist was very talented, and it is tragic that he died very young, in only his mid 30's. Fitz was New York based but exhibited at the National Academy, Pennsylvania Academy, and the Chicago Fair in 1893. He also taught at the Art Students League in New York City.
BENJAMIN RUTHERFORD FITZ (1855-1891) listed American art signed watercolor painting dated 1883