Fine Art/Attached Painting Identification
QUESTION: I recently acquired the attached painting. Can you help with its identity including that of the artist.
You might look into a Gustave Achille Guillaumet(1840-1887,) a Frenchman who spent much time documenting life in Algeria with genre pictures of market life, wharves, etc. It might be a stretch to say that this is his picture. More than likely it is a commercially produced picture with a signature made to approximate his? Nice picture, plenty of interesting elements, enjoy it!
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QUESTION: Thank you very much for your prompt response. I was told the original owner paid $400-$500 and I paid $50. Do you think it has much value? I attached pictures of the rear of the frame. Judging by the phone number of "Alan's Fine Arts" I would say it is from the 30's or 40's. Any further comments?
This is the first time I've used this site and I'm pleasantly surprised at the results.
Well, the label tells you the painting is almost 100% guaranteed to be a reproduction, sold in a shop in Brooklyn during the post-WWII period. (You can easily use Google Maps to find out where Livonia and Pennsylvania Avenues meet in Brooklyn. And check old telephone exchange databases for the HY-5 numbers.)
During this period, a boom period for new housing stock in America, you can well imagine that the intersection of GIs returning from Europe after seeing much old world art + many new, undecorated American walls made for a boom business in reproductive art, notably copies of European pieces. Many shops churned out art reproductions in the New York City area, and sold into a welcoming market. Certainly at the time, no one could predict that a beautifully framed and highly detailed reproduced picture like this, sold in a tony art gallery, would be worth little in 2014. It would have seemed far more valuable than, say trekking into the East Village, to find some grungy modern artist spilling paint on a canvas in haphazard form or simple geometric blocks of paint...like a Jackson Pollock or Ellsworth Kelly.
$50. You should be very happy with your purchase! The original owner in the 1950s likely paid a lot more for this at retail. Who knows? Maybe $50, on layaway, in 1950 dollars?!