Thursday, June 18, 2020
Maurice Braun, The Pier
I bought this beautiful painting by the artist Maurice Braun (1877-1941) in original frame recently. Braun was a Hungarian émigré who moved to New York in 1881 at the tender age of four. He studied first at the Academy of Design and then with William Merritt Chase at the Chase School.
Braun became famous in New York for both his landscapes and portraiture but moved to San Diego in 1910 and assumed the mantle of Dean of San Diego painters, a sobriquet he shared with Fries, Reiffel and Mitchell but which he never truly relinquished. Known for his beautiful renditions of the San Diego County waterfront and back country.
He had studios in New York, Pt. Loma and Silvermine, Connecticut. Braun was known for beautiful brushwork and lovely soft glazes.
I like this 20 x 24" painting a lot and can not believe how beautifully my restorer, Gary Hulbert, cleaned it up. It is night and day from when I got it, the discolored varnish had given it a gloomy look and now it looks bright and gorgeous. I love the pink and lavender now evident in the distant hills, the subtle rouge in the sky. I also like the high blue windows agains the green of the dominant building on the left. Very painterly.
The painting originally came from the family of another noted San Diego artist, Leon Bonnet (1868-1936.) It is titled "The Pier" verso. I sent pictures to a few San Diegans familiar with the wharf and will hopefully get a read on the exact location. He did several canvases from this very spot. I believe that it is sold but still wanted to share it with you.