This expertly executed, 18thc to early 19thc work on paper is of a famous Greek ruin.
In an unknown hand, written on the reverse, is the name, John Warwick Smith (1749-1831).
We researched the name, the subject matter, style, and medium matched, it matched that of John Warwick Smith.
Yet, because we could not verify the initials as Smith's, we sent pictures to Christies, European Works on Paper.
Because the initialed signature is indistinct; we reached out to Christies London.
The specialist for British works on paper replied, "We don't think the work would gain general acceptance as being by John Warwick Smith. We think it would be best described as Circle of Joseph Gandy"
The watercolor came to us by way of a high-end estate in Rancho Santa Fe, (San Diego North County).
The heirs described their Great Grandfather, that he traveled extensively and was an avid art collector. "He either bought the w/c in Rome, Italy or Great Britain. He lived in New York and retired to California."
As dealers, we can easily date the frame. Oxidation has significantly darkened the naked wood, and the original gold leafing has the usual mold spots that come with age. The frame looks to be c.1900.
We now offer it for sale. We believe this watercolor is worthy of further analysis. We are exhausted.
The watercolor retains it's original 100+ year old glass.
We photographed the w/c in direct sunlight, indoors, and under spot light, indoors.
Condition: Good age related condition. Examined out of frame; not glued down.
Old graphite inscriptions on reverse. One small tear in the lower left corner.
Measurements: 10" x 12" (approximate)
Framed: 15" x 17" (approximate) Loc. R