Nordfeldt Two-Sided Painting, ca. 1915
Appraised Value: $100,000 (2007)
IMAGE: 1 of 2
Appraisal Video: (2:48)
Paintings & Drawings
Nan Chisholm Fine Art, Ltd.
GUEST: The painting has been in my husband's family since the early 1900s. It was done by an artist named Nordfeldt, who was a friend of my father-in-law.
APPRAISER: And you inherited this?
GUEST: Yes. When my in-laws died, then the paintings came to us. We have a couple of others of his works, too. When my husband was growing up, this was the scene that he always saw, and he didn't care for it that much. There were other nudes by Nordfeldt that we had that he liked better, but this one he didn't like so much. _ And we were thinking we wouldn't hang it in our house, but then, as we were deciding where to put it, we noticed that the other side of it has a painting that we do like very much. And so that's the one that we have hanging in our house now.
APPRAISER: So let's take a look at the other side.
APPRAISER: So this is quite different. This is an example of what starving artists do when they can't afford a lot of materials. They paint on both sides of the canvas. This one, as I understand it, was done in Provincetown, Massachusetts, and you can tell it's Provincetown because of some of the landmarks that are shown here. Well, to give a little background on Nordfeldt. he was born in Sweden, and emigrated to Chicago when he was about 14 years old, where he started working at a newspaper as a typesetter. Then he got into doing illustrations for the newspaper. The next thing he knew, he was studying at the Art Institute in Chicago, and he went off to study in Paris for about three years in 1900. And you can see, on the previous side, when we were looking at the painting of the nudes, that he had been influenced by Cezanne. In this picture you can see also the influence of Matisse in the colors he selected, and the overall handling is a much more modern approach than what had been happening in American paintings up to this point. This painting actually relates to a woodcut that Nordfeldt did in 1916, which sold in 1991 for about $15,000. And the thing about the American market now is that it's very strong for American paintings, and whereas it used to be very focused on American Impressionist paintings, those pictures are much harder to find, and the taste has really changed. So buyers now are more focused on the segment of earlier 20th century market. So I think that it would not be surprising if this picture could sell for over $100,000 in a retail gallery. It's a fantastic painting.
GUEST: Well, that's... Wow. What about the other side of it?
APPRAISER: Well, this is the important side.
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