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Fine Art/Original, fake, or reproduction?


I know it's hard to tell without looking at it but could you give me your opinion on this?  I have a painting of a ballerina wearing a pink fluffy tutu and pink ballet slippers.  She has a thin pink ribbon in her short, black, curly hair.  She is also wearing a black choker around her neck and a torquoise wrist band.  The painting is signed in the lower left "L. Kronberg-" At first glance it looks like "Krunberg" but I couldn't find any artists with that name.  Then I found Louis Kronberg was well known for painting dancers.  It was a gift from my grandmother and has a sticker on the back of the art shop/framing store in San Antonio that I'm assuming she purchased it at almost 30 years ago.  Any more info you can provide would be helpful.  Would you also know, based on what I've mentioned, the approximate value?  Thanks so much!

Hello Melanie,

I hope you are doing well. Since I am not sure how much information you were able to find on the artist Louis Kronberg; I may be redundant with information you already have, including his biography which I have listed below.

There are several avenues you may want to pursue for authenticity of your painting should you decide to sell or include in your insurance coverage.

Try contacting the gallery in San Antonio where it was originally purchased to gain records and authenticity on the painting. If the gallery is no longer in business, see if there is another gallery at the location that may have acquired the inventory and hopefully the records of the previous gallery.

If you are unable to track the painting through the original gallery, you may try contacting the following resources for authentication or direction for getting authentication:

1.   Skinner Auctioneers and Appraisers: They have represented many pieces by Kronberg at auction and are certified appraisers. Visit their website for more information on contacting them:
2.   Pierce Galleries, Inc.: Pierce Galleries represents his work and may be able to authenticate or refer you to the appropriate expert.

You will need to take clear photographs of the front, back, and a close up of the signature and areas that reveal brushstrokes to send with your inquiries. List the size and medium, and any other markings on the piece. Include any information you can give on the provenance, (history), of your painting.

Once authenticated, the value of your painting would be easier to estimate based on the sale of previous works that are similar in medium, style, year, size, and condition. Watercolors and pastels tend to fetch less than oils. Recent wholesale prices gained at auction for a ballet subject oil on canvas, (24 x 20)  was $23,500 in March of this year. At the same auction a ballet piece that was a pastel on paper, (28x 20) sold for $6,463. Once again, these are auction wholesale prices.

I hope this information is helpful to you in your research.

The following biography is from Pierce Galleries, Inc:

Kronberg, Louis (American, 1872-1965):

Louis Kronberg was a painter, art dealer, advisor and teacher who was born in 1872 in Boston, Massachusetts and died in Palm Beach, Florida in 1965. He lived in Boston until 1919, when he moved to New York and later Palm Beach, and throughout his career he traveled back and forth to Paris.

Kronberg studied at the Art Students League and at Boston's Museum School under Tarbell and Benson, where he earned a Longfellow Traveling Scholarship. He studied at the Academie Julian in Paris (1894-1896) with Benjamin-Constant and Jean Paul Laurens and privately with Collins. In Paris, he became enamored with the works of Edgar Degas and proficiently painted ballet and Spanish dancers within theatre settings. After Bernard Berensen, he frequently went to Paris to buy art for the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and from 1921-1922 he painted in Algiers and Spain.

Kronberg was an Associate of the National Academy (1935) and a full Academician. He was a member of the Boston Art Club; the Guild of Boston Artists; Salmagundi Club; Lotos Club; Salon des Beaux-Arts, Paris; Copley Society; American Water Color Club; New York Water Color Club; Rockport Art Association and more.

His awards include medals form Pan-Pacific Exposition in San Francisco (1915); Salmagundi Club (1919); International Exposition, Paris (1937); Chevalier Legion of Honor, France (1951).

Kronberg's work is represented in the permanent collections at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Metropolitan Museum of Art; Isabella Steward Gardner Museum, Boston; Butler Art Institute; San Diego Museum of Art; Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY: Joslyn Museum; New York Historical Society; Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia; Art Institute of Chicago; Indianapolis Museum of Art and in Parisian museums; Luxembourg Museum; Societe Nationale and the Musee D'Orsay.

Although Kronberg is considered a Tarbellite because he trained with Tarbell and Benson at the MFA, he was highly influenced by the French Impressionists and especially the pastels and oils of ballerinas painted by Edgar Degas. His best work was executed prior to 1915 before he became nearsighted. He was known for his philanthropic efforts and financed A.C. Goodwin's career for over 15 years.

Best regards,

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Dolly D Headley


I can assist with identification, acquisition, sell representation, and care of fine art prints and original paintings. Some of my artist specialties include Henri Toulouse Lautrec, California Artists, and the Modern Masters. I can also assist with information on getting professional appraisals and authentication.


Dolly D. Headley, owner of Headley Fine Art, LLC, has provided consultative art services to retail gallery clients in Sausalito, CA, and at since 1998. With over 14 years experience as a Senior Art Consultant, Gallery Director, and an extensive art research library; Ms. Headley has provided hundreds of people with her high quality personalized consultation services and solid guarantee of satisfaction. Dolly is a volunteer at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.

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Bachelor of Science; Self taught with thousands of hours research and retail gallery consulting. Personalized mentorship from various experts in the industry.

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