This charming and exquisite watercolor came in with extreme acid burns. With the help of Dr. Jacob E. Nyenhuis we were able to identity the signature as Hobbe Smith (1862-1942). After careful removal from the mat and taping, a targeted chemistry baths lifted the acid stains. The watercolor was then allowed to dry flat which returned a crispness to the paper. The clarity of the cleaning will help us determine the style and color for a new frame. Stay tuned for more . . .
Hobbe Smith was the son of a house painter. His first formal art instruction came while he was an apprentice to a lithographer and continued as a member of Quellinusschool, an Amsterdam school for sculptors named after the Quellinus family and founded in 1877. Due to a wealthy patron who admired his work, he received a Royal Scholarship and studied at Rijksakadmie with August Allebe, a major promoter of Amsterdam Impressionism, a style Smith would adopt.
He continued his studying at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp with Charles Verlat. His subject matter included nudes, still life, portraits, historical scenes, sea- river- and town-views. In 1888, he won the Willink van Collenprijs, and received international notoriety after an exhibition at the Pulchri Studio in 1902. A gold medal recipient from Queen Wilhelmina in 1917, he was also a member of Arti et Amicitiae and Sint Lucas.