Werner Wildner (German/Nashville, Tennessee, 1925-2004), oil on canvas grisaille painting of a cemetery scene. A raven perches atop a tombstone engraved “Here Lies Elias Row 54 Years.” Signed with W in circle monogram on a tombstone, lower right. Later silvered and ebonized molded frame. 13-1/2″ x 9-1/2″ sight, 17-1/2″ x 13-1/2″ framed. Biography: Werner Wildner was born in Germany but moved to Detroit with his family as a child and, as a teenager, to Nashville. After serving in the army, he studied art briefly at the Mienzinger Art School in Detroit. He returned to Nashville to practice commercial art, but by the mid-1950s had decided to pursue his own art career. Surreal scenes, whimsical animals and fantastical, often grotesque creatures were recurring elements of his work. Wildner met with critical and commercial success after a 1962 exhibit of his art at what is now known as the Cheekwood Museum of Art in Nashville. However, the death of his parents and collapse of his marriage in the 1970s led him to become reclusive in the last two decades of his life. Condition: Deep 1-1/4″ scratch and a few light abrasions on main tombstone, a couple of small scattered marks to sky.
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