Nils Gren (California / Sweden, 1893 - 1940) "Honore de Balzac" Portrait Painting. San Francisco 1931 dated verso. Oil on board. Honoré de Balzac was a French novelist and playwright. The novel sequence La Comédie humaine, which presents a panorama of post-Napoleonic French life, is generally viewed as his magnum opus. With Handwritten letter to friend by artist verso. Sight Size: 21 x 15 in. Overall Size: 22.25 x 16.25 in. Provenance: Private California Collection. In 1925 he had moved to southern California where he studied art with Stanton MacDonald-Wright. He lived in Los Angeles for only a few years before making his final move to San Francisco in the late 1920s. About 1930 he destroyed all of his earlier paintings; any works now extant are those done during the 1930s. During that period he produced lithographs for the WPA project. Gren was active in San Francisco until his death on Aug. 6, 1940. Exh: Painters & Sculptors of LA, 1926; Modern Art Society of LA, 1926; San Francisco Art Association, 1928-29; Paul Elder Gallery (SF), 1932 (solo); Oakland Art Gallery, 1932, 1934; Calif. State Fairs, 1930s; SFMA Inaugural, 1935, 1939 (solo); GGIE, 1939. In: Mission High School, SF (mural); Smithsonian Inst.; Oakland Museum.