Armin Carl Hansen “Before the Wind” Oil Painting, ca. 1920
We got it in Massachusetts in the late '70s. My husband spotted it at an antique shop.
Do you recall what you paid for it?
I think it was somewhere around $1,200, but honest to goodness, I don't remember.
You know who the artist is, however.
Yes, I do. It's Armin Carl Hansen.
Right. And he was noted as the Monterey artist. He grew up in San Francisco and his father was a noted artist of Western paintings named Herman Hansen, and he was Armin Carl Hansen's first teacher. Now, he was born in 1886. When he was 20 years old-- that would be 1906-- that was when the great earthquake hit San Francisco. So of course their lives were completely shattered at the time. And the young man, now he's 20 years old, went to Germany to study. He was wildly interested in German Impressionism. And then after doing that for two years, he shipped out on a Norwegian trawler for four years. So he was actually a seaman. When he returned to San Francisco in 1912, he began to paint sailors and fishermen. He also painted Western art. So he was someone who has two main themes. One is the life of the sea and also cowboys. This is probably from late 19-teens or early 1920s. He tends to work in rather large shapes. This is a particularly dramatic one. The people are on the deck, they're being hit by a storm. The waves are washing over the deck and it's a particularly nice example of his work. He often has a very dramatic style where the figures are backlit. So it's an Impressionist brushstroke, but a kind of interesting dark and dramatic palette. These paintings are beloved by Californians. They sell in California very well and there are enthusiastic collectors of them there. He was a founder of the Carmel Art Association. He worked in Monterey, as you said. Even in this market, which is rather constrained, a painting like this should sell at auction for between $50,000 and $75,000.
Oh my. Oh my.
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