We purchased this from the estate of a former New York State entertainer who performed on Broadway during the 1940s. We have been informed that his first wife, who was also on Broadway, was the daughter of an art and/or antiques dealer. The family believes this painting may have been acquired through the father-in-law. We purchased it recently from the man's second wife. She believed it was a painting by William McDougal Hart. However, in checking the artist signatures on file at artprice.com it is clear that while the signature looks nothing like that of William Hart, it is very similar to the example shown for his brother James M. Hart. James M. Hart studied in Europe under German landscape painter Johann Wilhelm Schirmer (1807-1863) and the European style building in this painting is probably not your typical Hudson Valley structure. Nonetheless, the Hudson River School style is very much evident in this work. Another curiousity are the mountains in the upper left corner that closely resemble the double-mountain symbol that James used in some of his works and is also on file at artprice.com. Although we believe there are good reasons for believing the artist may be James M. Hart, we make no postive claims to that effect, and would certainly welcome additional information and comments. This painting is being sold as is, with the understanding that the identity of the actual painter has not been verified. Condition: The painting has two repairs, one towards the upper left corner a couple of inches above the mountain tops, and the second towards the lower left corner in the grass. This painting has also darkened with age and would benefit from a professional cleaning. We are not art experts and so any ommissions within this listing are unintentional.
MORE INFORMATION ABOUT JAMES McDOUGAL HART: A leading landscape painter of the second generation of the Hudson River School, James McDougal Hart was born in 1828 in Kilmarnock, Scotland. His family immigrated to Albany, New York in 1831. There, at the age of 15, he was apprenticed to a sign painter. Following the example of his older brother, William M. Hart, he decided to become an artist. In 1851, Hart traveled to Düsseldorf, where he studied with Schirmer, a leading landscape painter. Hart returned to the United States in 1852 and moved to New York City. His work was frequently exhibited in the chief galleries of New York City, Philadelphia, Boston, and Baltimore. His gently colored compositions were praised for their accurate drawing and their emphasis on the "poetry of nature." Hart often portrayed cattle, as did his brother William.