Formerly owned by Ingrid Bergman and Alan Freed, this is a large and exceptional fine American tinsel or foil painting featuring a full wreath encircling an urn of flowers on a green base. Although the use of a wreath in a tinsel painting is not at all uncommon, this particular format is extremely rare, if not unique. The flowers are so densely packed as to make the execution of the painting quite difficult. Further, there are 6 birds amidst the flowers, and the lower area motif has switched from flowers to fruit, including apples, a pear, and grapes.
Sight size is 22 1/2" by 19 1/2", with a framed size of 29" by 26 1/4". Excellent condition, with no cracks or breaks, nor any paint lifting or loss to speak of. The custom made frame is not original, but beautifully complements this work of art, and is also in excellent condition, as is the reddish wood inner liner. The white triangles at the lower corners are just cardboard protective pieces put there while the painting is resting on the ground. Any shadings, lightness or blurring in the background is due to light reflections during photography.
NOTES: 1. Between September 12, 2012 and January 13, 2013 the American Folk Art Museum held an exhibit on this art form. The following is excerpted from the catalog of that exhibition:
"Tinsel paintings are reverse paintings on glass with smooth or crumpled metallic foil applied behind translucent and transparent areas; when viewed in candlelight or gaslight, the effect was one of shimmering highlights. In the first half of the 19th century, tinsel painting was taught to young women whose parents were dedicated to providing refined education for their daughters and paid for such special classes. By the mid to late 19th century, the art had expanded outside the school curriculum, and instructions proliferated in books and were advertised in women's magazines. Its origins are related to forms developed in Renaissance Italy, 18th-century China and France, and 19th-century Austria, England, and Germany. Floral imagery predominates, as botanical copy prints and patterns were often employed."
2. This painting was owned by Ingrid Bergman and was in her suite in the Lombardy Hotel. Alan Freed, commonly referred to as the "father of rock 'n' roll" due to his promotion of the style of music, and his introduction of the phrase "rock and roll", was the next owner, and I was privileged enough to be given this fine work by his daughter-in-law.