Frits Thaulow (Norway/France, 1847-1906), oil on canvas moonlight canal scene. Signed lower right. Original large, deep and elaborate giltwood and composition frame with swept edges, carved shells and scrolls at corners and centers interspersed with carved flowers, and an inner shell and scroll border. Old 5th Avenue, New York framer’s label en verso and small Minneapolis Institute of Art label, number L8 84. 31-1/2″ H x 39″ W sight, 46″ H x 53″ W x 5″ D framed. Provenance: Originally owned by gilded age industrialist John Warne Gates, also known as “Bet-A-Million Gates,” who made millions selling barbed wire and was a founder of the Texas company that would later become known as Texaco. Upon Gates’ death, the painting was inherited by his only son Charles Gilbert Gates. When Charles Gates died at the age of 37 while on a Western big game hunting trip, the painting passed to his young widow, Florence Hopwood Gates Judd, and has descended in her family to the present consignor. The painting was exhibited at The Minneapolis Institute of Arts in 1915 (see The Bulletin of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, May 1915). Biography: (Courtesy Askart: The Artists’ Bluebook): Norweigan-born Frits Thaulow (alternate spelling: Fritz Thaulow ) was a brother in law of Paul Gaugin, cousin to Edvard Munch, and a close friend of Claude Monet. He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen before moving to Paris in the 1870s, where his paintings, particularly those involving complex reflections of water, were well received. Upon his return, in the 1880s he was acclaimed as Oslo’s foremost painter. He also founded the progressive Artists’ Union and served as its president. It was Thaulow who encouraged Monet to travel with him to Norway to paint snow scenes in 1895. Thaulow himself traveled throughout Europe in pursuit of subject matter, which owed more to French Realism than Impressionism. Condition: Light 2″ scratch in the lower left quadrant in water. About a dozen minuscule (pinpoint-sized) scattered areas of paint loss, mainly to the lower half (possibly white paint splatters). Scattered all over light craquelure. Thin, 2″ long scratch or line of paint loss at lower center rabbet edge. Blacklight reveals 3 areas of inpainting to sky, largest 1″, and 3 areas of inpainting to lower left quadrant in water, largest 1″L. Frame exhibits several large cracks and some apparent repairs, particularly to the left side.
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