School of William Marlow Oil, ca. 1800

Value (2010) | $7,000 Auction$60,000 Auction
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GUEST:
My husband inherited the painting through his mother, who inherited it through her mother. What we were told is that William Marlow was one of the painters that was commissioned by the Queen to paint landscapes throughout England.

APPRAISER:
The first thing I can talk to you about is the concept of something called view paintings. It is a tradition that began in the 18th century in Italy with a very famous artist you may have heard of named Canaletto. Canaletto painted these large, expansive, long, beautifully composed views of Venice. And his paintings became so popular that many people emulated those paintings. They were quite saleable because at that point in time, so many wealthy Englishmen were traveling to Venice on what they called the "Grand Tour." And they would fall in love with these paintings by Canaletto and a follower of his named Guardi and a large school of other people. So the tradition of view painting began. Your painting has a plaque that says "William Marlow" on it. William Marlow was a well-trained English artist. And he was a watercolorist and a landscape painter and very competent and very professional. And midway along in his career, he traveled to Italy. And he encountered the view painters. Marlow comes back to England and starts painting, among other things, these expansive views of British scenes. He is also influential. People see his paintings, like them very much. A school of followers of Marlow grows up and lots of people paint pictures that look a lot like Marlow's English views, but they're by other, perhaps somewhat less well-known, people. So, this takes us kind of full circle to the question of what you have here. The painting is oil on canvas. Marlow did paint many views very similar to this. Many of them were reproduced as prints. He was very successful. I have some question as to whether your painting is a work by Marlow himself or by one of his followers.

GUEST:
Oh.

APPRAISER:
Someone who thought it was very much in his style put this plaque on here.

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
But it's a very beautiful picture. It is certainly of the period. So, if this is something at auction, characterized as School of William Marlow, it would probably sell in the range of between $7,000 and $10,000.

GUEST:
Uh-huh.

APPRAISER:
If it should turn out this is actually by Marlow himself, you could be looking at a situation of between $40,000 and $60,000.

GUEST:
Thank you.

APPRAISER:
So, I wish I could tell you the definitive answer, but it's a very specialized field, and there's some additional research to do here.

GUEST:
Okay, thank you very much.

APPRAISER:
You are very welcome.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Harwood Fine Arts, Inc.
South Hadley, MA
Appraised value (2010)
$7,000 Auction$60,000 Auction
Event
Miami Beach, FL (July 10, 2010)
Material
Oil

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