Old Country Landscape Oil OPaintings Kahns Department Store Signed L Stephens
I really enjoy and have a deep appreciation for country landscape paintings as you can get lost in the peaceful surroundings captured by the artist with brush stokes that complete a scene. Of course, when I saw this pair coincidentally done by the same artist I just had to purchase them. They certainly look fitting as a set because of the correlation that represents his style while offering tranquility for all to enjoy!
When I photographed the set I saw a paper sticker on the back that reads, "Kahn's established "79". I could not make out the numbers before the nine so I did a little research. This company was founded in "1879" by Israel Kahn of Oakland, California who immigrated to the United States in 1848 and settled in New York. He moved his family to San Francisco and then to Oakland and ran a successful clothing company. After he died his three sons inherited the business and at some point turned it into a Department Store that would be one of the finest. See image 20 that reflects a picture of the store taken in 1909.
The name Kahn's was the last and third name of this company but it is unclear as to exactly what date Kahn's was renamed. When a flagship store was opened in 1912, it was deemed the largest in the city with wonderful architectural elements that included an elliptical rotunda. In 1950 Kahn's was purchased by, "Western Department Stores". I bring this up because I was trying to date these paintings using the "Kahn" name marked on the back as a clue. My best guess is they are from 1930's to 1950 because of the construction of the frame, the label marked Kahn's and the paper backing.
The first painting depicts a beautiful scene out in the country with a wondering path leading up to the door with majestic mountains in the background. The three trees in the front have plenty of detail on the trunk while the impressionistic leaves reach upward toward the sky. Soft, muted flowers dot the landscape and remind me of a meadow. Very nice job and you can certainly get the feeling that you want to walk right up the path to see what antiques this charming house may hold!
The other painting really compliments the first because it almost seems like it may be an extension. Maybe this bucolic scene is located on the other side of the homestead where a serene lake wraps around the valley. I can just see the husband going fishing all day and happily bringing home tonight's supper to his wife. When this pair is set side by side the trees on the right in the house painting seem to extend over and mingle with the trees on the left in the water painting. Neat!
This water scene has a small area that is darker up near the sky on the right as shown in image 9. There is also a tiny bit of paint loss as referenced in image 10 &12, near the left hand side of the tree branch and shows up in white. The same holds true for the bottom left corner just opposite of the painters signature and also on the right directly on top of the lower rocks edge, as shown in image 9. I could not find any information on this artist.
The frames are traditionally fashioned from wood and have mitered corners secured by two tiny round nails. A small area in reference to the house painting, on the bottom of this frame does appear to have a black painted streak running across the bottom edge. The egg shell white frame has lots of wonderful wear with plenty of darker wood showing though the surface on both pieces. There are no chips or scratches to report.
The inside strip of wood that touches the painting has a deep bronze gold color that was painted. The paper that was used to cover the back is torn and missing in some areas as shown in the photo's. The back of each painting has a stamp on the lower left hand side that reads:, "Original Oil Painting". Glass is not usually used to cover oil paintings and is more commonly used for watercolors.
These two paintings evoke feelings of a simpler time, perhaps long ago out in the country among a restful setting that we all can appreciate. They would look beautiful hung above a table decorated with natural elements that fill wooden bowls with ease. I am quite positive that this offering will make you and your homestead very happy for years to come! Enjoy!
Both Paintings measure 6 1/4" Tall, 6 1/4" across & are about 1 1/4" from the eye hook to the front of the frames outer edge. $48.50 is for the pair.
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