I have absolutely no wall space, but I could not pass up this beautiful bathing belle portrait. I love the brilliant colors, the impressionist treatment of water and sky and, of course, the buxom windblown strawberry-blonde beauty in her charming 1910s bathing outfit.
A close up of the face shows this luscious lass was painted by a skilled and talented artist. Something about the style makes me wonder if this was painted as an illustration for a magazine. The image is 17 inches wide and 23.5 inches high and is painted oil on a panel.
It is signed by a rather odd monogram, which looks something like a "W" interposed over a paw print or stylized blossom.
A friend has suggested that the monogram resembles that used by Henry Sumner Watson (1868-1933), who also used the name Hy S. Watson.
Watson was an American illustrator who often worked in oils and specialized in outdoor and sports images. The period is right and the style of painting does resemble some of his artwork. Below is "Reeling One In," a work by Watson that served as the cover design for the July 21, 1921, edition of Field and Stream magazine. I see some resemblance between this painting and mine, especially in the looseness of the brush strokes, the treatment of the white fabric, the young ladies' highly colored complexions and red-blonde hair, and the impressionistic treatment of the waves and sky. It may just be wistful thinking, as many illustrators of the period used similar styles and colors. Admittedly, all of the paintings and sketches I have found so far by Watson are signed with his name, not his monogram. When I find the time, I hope to visit the extensive fine arts library at the nearby University of Texas and do a little more research.