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Question
Hello, I recently came across a painting by Henri Masson. The title of the piece is Gaspe Village and is signed by him in the lower right hand corner. On the back of the frame reads "Catalda Fine Arts, Inc." and the date 1962. I believe this is done on masonite board. I have it displayed in my house and was wondering if it is worth something and any information that it might have.
Thanks for your time.

Answer
Henri Leopold Mason 1907-1996 was a Belgian silversmith to begin his career. He emigrated to Canada, settling in Ottawa, where during the thirties he became enamored with the "Group of Seven" and took up painting. Chiefly self-taught.  Typically a very bright color palette with bold compositions. Landscapes, seascapes, town scenes. Depictions of life in Canada. The Gaspe region is typical.  Contact Mayberry Fine Art in Toronto.  Your best bet at more information and possible value.  At auction, this artist's best works have commanded four figure sums at Canadian auction houses.

But *caution* his lesser works have gone unsold or fetched but a few hundred dollars. The Catalda label is worrisome, but not a stopper.  Catalda was a NYC area dealer and mass reproducer of artpieces in the post-WWII boom when demand for art soared.  Typically, Catalda re-produced on canvas the work of famous European artists and pushed framed pieces into various "middlebrow" art channels. Catalda Fine Arts involved in a famous copyright suit still quoted in law schools. This is not to say your artwork is a copy, for Catalda did deal in original art that was price accessible, and purchased or commissioned artworks directly from hungry artists.  

I'd suggest you get some good photos (front, back, signature block), and measurements to either Mayberry Fine Art or any of the Toronto auction houses: Joyce Waddington or Ritchies or Walkers. That is if you hope to sell it.  Otherwise, enjoy it. The Gaspe is one of Canada's most historic and scenic regions.  Perhaps your picture will inspire a future vacation!

Best of luck.

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Stuart Cartwright

Expertise

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: www.artoftheprint.com and www.philaprintshop.com

Experience

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.

Education/Credentials
Bachelor of Arts Master of Business Administration

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