This is a watercolor on paper by Eleanor Hart Levis (1889-1967). The subject is a branch or a magnolia tree covered with blossoms and set against pale, sky blue. It is very much in the style of the 1930's which favored a bald presentation of the flowers against a near blank background. At this point in her career Levis signed her still life watercolors Eleanor (heart devise] Levis. She drew a heart to substitute for her middle name "Hart." This watercolor is signed in the lower right in the bottom right leaf. The watercolor is matted and framed in a 1930's gilt frame. Provenance: the estate of the artist through purchase from a Pennsylvania dealer about 20 years ago. It was acquired as part of a large group of landscape and still life watercolors.
Eleanor Hart Levis was a painter who worked mainly in Pennsylvania. Little is known about her except that she worked as an illustrator. Two books that she illustrated were: Ann Hark, "Hex Marks the Spot: In the Pennsylvania Dutch Country," New York: J.B. Lippincott, 1938; and Ann Hark, "Blue Hills and Shoofly Pie in Pennsylvania Dutchland," New York: J. B. Lippincott, 1952. Her specialty was landscape and still life painting.
Condition of watercolor is very good; frame shows minor wear.
Measurements are: watercolor, 14 1/2 inches x 18 1/2 inches; frame, outer dimensions, 22 1/2 inches x 26 1/2 inches.
This is a bright and skilled American watercolor and a perfect anticipation of Springtime.