St. Clair

St. Clair (English) – Late 19th-Early 20th Century
Below Devil’s Bridge, (Kirby Lonsdale), oil on canvas laid to board, signed l/l, 19″ x 22″ unframed

Click to enlarge.
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Estimate: $250. Offers invited.

Please email an offer to purchase or a request for more information to

Very good. The upper right hand corner is missing a 1/2″ square piece of canvas barely visible in the first image. The second image has been further cropped to show the visible area of the painting when framed. The signature is clearly visible in the left, lower corner. Image colors are close to the actual pigments of the painting on my monitor but the painting looks even better and will look great in a good quality frame.

Although the artist has not been confirmed, this could be an early work by Norman St. Clair who studied architecture and worked as a draftsman in England before emigrating to the United States. He is known for his watercolors but the subject of this painting is consistent with his work and was acquired from Northumberland, England. The title is written on the remnants of a label, verso. The lower part of this label seems to have been purposely removed by some previous seller to obscure either the source of the painting, the price, or both. There is evidence of other labels that have been removed from the board. The painting is offered as described, leaving the buyer to judge the merits of the artist – whomever they may have been.

“Norman St. Clair (1865 – 1912). Watercolorist. Born in Banbury, Oxfordshire, England, on Nov. 24, 1865. St. Clair studied architecture and worked as a draftsman in England. After immigrating to America, he was an architect in Boston, Denver, Salt Lake City, and San Francisco before moving to Pasadena about 1900. He had a home in the Arroyo Seco and commuted regularly to Laguna Beach where he is considered to be the first artist to work in that community, which he discovered between 1895-1900. Primarily a self-taught painter, his representational watercolors are derived from the English school of painting. St.Clair died of tuberculosis at his Pasadena home on March 6, 1912. Member: LA Painters Club; Calif. Art Club.

Exh: SFAA, 1904-11; Laguna Hotel, 1906; Del Monte Art Gallery, 1908-09; Kanst Gallery (LA), 1909; PAFA, 1910; Calif. Art Club, 1912; LACMA, 1915 (memorial). In: Orange Co. (CA) Museum. 1 So. Calif. Artists, 1890-1940; SCA; NY Times, 3-8-19t2 (obit); AAA 1913 (obit).”

Credit: for biographical information from Artists in California 1786-1940 by Edan Hughes.

Note: The title of this painting is written on the remnants of a label, verso. It should be said that Norman St. Clair’s work in California was more “representational” than “impressionistic”. There are resemblances between the painting and his California watercolors but more evidence is needed for an attribution.

Also by this artist:

Monrovia Canyon, 1896 – Watercolor

Photo source: George Stern Fine Arts


Images often do not adequately represent quality or condition. Reflections off glass or varnished surfaces sometimes alter color and clarity. All listings are fully guaranteed to be as described, however, and may be returned for a full refund (for any reason) within 30 days of purchase.

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