Do You Own an Ahrens?
If you own a work by Carl Ahrens, be it an oil, watercolor, print, or sketch I would love to hear from you. There are a handful of specific paintings I'm especially interested in either because they received a lot of press or for sentimental reasons. Please click the link below to see if you may own one of them. If you do, I would be happy to provide you with any references I have on your painting.
Most of Ahrens work is in private collections, not galleries, which makes it difficult to track down. I am compiling a catalog of known works, including information about the medium, support, dimensions, title, date, and provenance of the piece whenever possible. I never use images sent to me without obtaining permission from the owner. If you do grant permission, I will refer to you as "private collector" unless you wish to be named. Please note that there are multiple copies of prints.
Ahrens was known for forest landscapes, but he was initially famous as a portrait painter, and he also painted a seascapes, mountainscapes and architectural images.
Since his death, Ahrens has earned the dubious reputation of being 'that dark tree painter.' I often tell collectors that the paintings they own are not actually dark, simply dirty. He used a type of varnish on many pieces that yellows over time. Click the link below to see how removing the surface grime and that layer of varnish can transform his work.
Below are five known signatures Carl used on his work.