Large Werner Wildner (TN, 1925-2004) trompe líoeil painting of a Punch & Judy puppet scene. “Pinned” below the proscenium are drawings of an owl, gnome, and teddy bear, a cut out butterfly, feather, and bow. Signed lower center in an arched panel, ìWerner W.î 30″ x 15-1/2″ sight, 32″ x 17″ framed. Biography (courtesy Askart: The Artists’ Bluebook): Wildner was born in Germany but moved to Detroit with his family as a child and then, as a teenager, to Nashville. He served in the Army in 1944 and went on to study 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. Whimsical animals and fantastical, often grotesque creatures were a recurring theme of his work. Wildner met with critical and commercial success after a 1962 exhibit of his art at the Nashville site now known as Cheekwood. However, the death of his parents and collapse of his marriage in the 1970’s led him to become reclusive in the last two decades of his life. Provenance: the collection of Stephen and Lisa Steiner Small, Nashville, Tennessee, purchased Lyzon Gallery, Nashville, 1968 (receipt retained). Condition: 1/8″ abrasion in upper right quadrant, background, otherwise excellent condition. Condition: 1/8″ abrasion in upper right quadrant, background, otherwise excellent condition.