Fine Art/Fontana


When my grandmother died I received this painting.  It is 24" X 36" and appears to be oil on cardboard (maybe?).  I know very little about art and was hoping you could tell me about the artist - I haven't even been able to figure out who that is other than the last name.  Also if you know the value of the painting I would appreciate that information.  Thank you for your service.

Thank you for sharing your picture with me.  It's a large, lovely vase of peonies.  My condolences on the passing of your grandmother.

Upon seeing the heavy and stylized one-name signature, I became suspect that this might be a manufactured artwork, a reproduced copy.  (Most fine artists will sign with at least a first initial.)  I went through all 12 or 13 artists named "Fontana" in my database, just in case.  I can find no one who would remotely come close to this style of picture.

Now, I could be wrong. You can tell quickly if it is canvas, just by looking at the backside.  Is their texture to the backing?  Is it stretched and held by wooden stretcher bars?  And even if not on canvas, a lot of oils are produced on thin wood panel.  In the Depression, canvas might have been too expensive, and artists might well have used cardboard.   

I would encourage you to bring your artwork to a local gallery or auction house to verify what you have.  About 98% of framed works are not original fine art by listed artists, and most is commercial "decorative art".  

I'll betcha this looks good on your wall, and it probably gives you a connection to your grandmother, so keep it, hang it prominently and enjoy it!


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Stuart Cartwright


American Fine Art Paintings.
Oils, Watercolors, Sketches. Nineteenth and early Twentieth Century. Hudson River School, Pennsylvania Academy, Cape Ann artists, Ash Can, Woodstock, Florida Indian River, American Impressionists, etc. I can provide some background about artists and perhaps a rough appraisal or guidance towards obtaining a value. I am acquainted with many of the best American art dealers and auction houses. Original works only, I do not follow the print market. I do NOT field questions about prints.

Important to know
I am not expert in European art. I encourage you to send questions on European artists to other experts on this service. NO PRINTS:I encourage you to seek help on prints elsewhere. Two sites come to mind: and


I have been collecting original American Fine Art for over 20 years. I have curated art shows, and I have served as a dealer, providing appraisals and guidance for the last 8 years.

Bachelor of Arts Master of Business Administration

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