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I have an oil painting of a river scene and would like to know the name of the artist. There is only one character in the signature and it is difficult to make out what it is.

You should go see the folks at The Neal Auction Company on Magazine St in NO.

Hard to tell from small thumbnails, but you likely have a nice period piece,
that might be listed as "In the manner of the Hudson River School". The signature
block reminds one of David Johnson a famed master of this genre, who would initial
his pictures with a fancy, curly-cued, monogram "DJ". This is clearly not his work,
but is perhaps that of someone trying to imitate Johnson.  

The Hudson River School painters did try to portray large majestic landscapes,
often with mountains, rivers, trees, cliffs, with diminutive human figures in
the foreground so as to make the landscapes even more gargantuan. Thomas Cole,
Thomas Doughty and David Johnson were among America's earliest practitioners
of this style. This painting is rather naive, maybe reminiscent of very early
(1840s) HRS, but I think more likely that it just merely a copy.  Go get an
eyeball's-on opinion from Neal Auctions. Maybe have them put it under U/V blacklight,
to help determine age of the picture.  

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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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