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“Old Coast Road” oil painting may climb to $400,000

Bonhams’ California & Western Paintings & Sculpture Auction, scheduled for April 28, features a variety of landscape and scenic works, including William Wendt's 1916 oil painting “The Old Coast Road,” which may command upwards of $400,000.

LOS ANGELES – An iconic oil painting by William Wendt titled “The Old Coast Road,”

"The Old Coast Road" painting

“The Old Coast Road” oil painting by William Wendt is expected to realize upwards of $400,000 during the April 28 auction at Bonhams. (Photo courtesy Bonhams)

circa 1916 ($400,000-$600,000), stands out as the flagship amongst several significant works on offer in Bonhams’ California & Western Paintings & Sculpture Auction on April 28 in Los Angeles, simulcast in San Francisco.

The featured painting graces the cover of the best known book on California Impressionism titled “Plein Air Painters of California: The Southland” by Ruth Westphal. It is arguably the best known California painting in private hands.

Plein-air works of note in the auction also include “At Annondale (Wildflowers near Pasadena)” by Guy Rose ($150,000-$250,000), an exceptionally large canvas by Edgar Payne titled “Surging Sea” ($150,000-$250,000) and William Wendt’s “Misty Morning, Santa Ana Canyon,” 1928 ($60,000-$80,000).

Highlights continue with Alson Skinner Clark’s oil on canvas “Blue Mountain,” from 1925 ($20,000-$30,000), Jack Wilkinson Smith’s colorful “Sunshine through the Oaks” ($25,000-$35,000) and “Alligator Head, La Jolla” by Alfred R. Mitchell ($8,000-$12,000).

"Surging Sea" painting

Edgar Payne's "Surging sea" oil on canvas, signed (lower right), early 20th century, measuring 48" by 57" (est. $150,000-$250,000). (Photo courtesy Bonhams)

Several important Western works will be featured as well, ranging from the early Taos School painters to the more modern interpreters such as Ed Mell.

“It is early, so many works are still to be consigned, but judging by what we are seeing and being offered, this should be a spectacular and memorable auction,” said Scott Levitt, Bonhams director of fine arts.

The sale preview is scheduled for April 17-19 in San Francisco and from April 24-26 in Los Angeles. For further information, visit