I have several European paintings for which little information exists concerning value. The one that has interested me most is an old oil on slightly warped wood plank, but German artist Karl Martin Graff. While it is easy to see that Graff was very popular in Germany, especially in the Karlsruhe area, he is almost completely unheard of in North America. The fact that the board is a bit warped actually ads to the appeal of the painting in my eyes, as I learned that Graff rushed to paint the buildings still standing using the remains of those that had already fallen to the Allied bombs. I also know that his paintings were used as templates for rebuilding the entire countryside once the war was over. Without both Graff's efforts as well as the money he donated from their sales, most of that area of Germany might still be nothing but rubble.
Regardless of the warp, the painting is in surprisingly good condition, with no visible losses, and minor toning throughout. Anything you might share of value would really help me out. As for provenance, the painting's history is a bit unclear, although it seems to have been carried to the US and then held in the same household since the time just after WWII until the owner's death in the late 1990s. Signed "K. M. Graff 1943." The painting measures 8" x 12".
Thank you so very much for any amount of help you are able to give to my little query.
Two of my German reference books, Thieme Becker and Allgemeines Lexikon der bildendend Künstler des XX. Jahrhunderts, barely mention the artist. Born in 1877 and was a painter - not much. None of his works have been sold at auction in the last 25 years. Sorry, I have no further information in my library.