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Bob Ross' first televised painting now for sale

Modern Artifact recently listed the painting from the first episode of "The Joy of Painting," but it comes at quite a cost.
Bob Ross' first televised painting now for sale
Posted at 1:07 PM, Sep 15, 2023
and last updated 2023-09-15 14:07:36-04

Bob Ross was a legendary painter whose art was mimicked for years by television audiences on PBS. 

As original paintings by Ross have been notoriously hard to find, one recent sale has piqued the interest of his fans. 

Modern Artifact recently listed the first painting Ross ever made for television in 1983. The painting, known as "A Walk in the Woods," is set on an 18-by-24-inch canvas. The painting includes a "happy little tree," bushes, and a path that "wanders." In other words, it is your typical Ross painting. 

"It is exceedingly rare to find any Bob Ross episode pieces, and this is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to own the very first one," Modern Artifact wrote in its product description. "Although Bob Ross paintings have become highly sought after by collectors, the market is still emerging. 'A Walk in the Woods' is a museum-worthy piece that will set the standard for the continued development of the Bob Ross art market."

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If you want the painting, however, be prepared to spend big money. It is currently listed for $9.85 million.

According to a 2019 New York Times feature, three paintings were made for each episode of "The Joy of Painting." Ross would paint one for reference, a second one for a television audience, and a third painting used afterward for instructional books, the New York Times reported. 

With the advent of streaming TV, Ross' popularity has seen a resurgence in recent years. Ross' first episode of the "Joy of Painting" can be viewed on YouTube.

Modern Artifact has sold numerous other Ross paintings. It currently has one other Ross painting for sale. It has his "Row Boat on the Beach" painting from Season 24 of "The Joy of Painting" listed for $250,000. 

Ross died in 1995 at age 52 after hosting 31 seasons of "The Joy of Painting."


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