Cowley Abbott’s Spring Live Auction of Important Canadian Art presents an impressive selection of historical, post-war and contemporary works by renowned Canadian artists. The catalogue offers a variety of landscapes depicting the range of Canadian terrain across the nation, from the Pacific to Atlantic and Arctic Coasts. Many of Canada’s most iconic landmarks and destinations are represented in works in the upcoming live sale.
Arthur Lismer and Gordon Appelbe Smith represent similar subjects of Western Canada through different stylistic approaches. Lismer’s more traditional oil The Pacific (lot 40) uses thick, choppy brushstrokes to capture an ominous mood before the impending storm.
By contrast, M.G.T. #4 (lot 25) by Smith presents a reductive and semi-abstract interpretation of the British Columbian coast. His subdued palette captures the subtleties of light and gentle movement playing on the water’s surface.
Moving north to Canada’s territories, we find Ted Harrison’s vibrant painting Discovery Day, Dawson City (lot 34), where Harrison depicts a weekend-long festival that occurs annually in Dawson City in early August.
Dorothy McCarthy’s sublime Arctic landscapes, such as lot 42, Along the Inland Passage, are considered the artist’s most desirable pictures. The large oil painting depicts part of a 1,500km long stretch of protected coastline that runs from Skagway, Alaska to the north, through British Columbia and ends in the south in Puget Sound, Washington.
The wide vistas of the Prairies are beautifully illustrated in Dorothy Knowles’ Wheat Fields (lot 88), which captures the fresh air and grand landscape of her home province of Saskatchewan. Also depicting the Prairies is lot 49, West Yellow Rough by renowned contemporary artist Ivan Kenneth Eyre. He is known for creating scenes from his imagination that are inspired by his surroundings in Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
Many excellent examples of the rural landscape and wilderness of Ontario are included in the Spring Live Auction. The iconic Niagara Falls are delicately painted in watercolours by Charles Jones Way in lot 58. The artist exemplified the trend towards naturalism during the 1860s and 1870s; Niagara Falls was also a popular subject by many Canadian and American painters of this period, as it epitomizes man’s encounter with the sublime.
Lot 32, Mill Lake, Parry Sound, executed by A.J. Casson in 1934, was painted during an important period for the artist, soon after the end of his association with the Group of Seven. This sweeping vista filled with rich colour, lush foliage and shimmering light showcases the picturesque land of Ontario cottage country.
A more urban scene of Quebec is John Little’s Night, De La Roche Street, Montreal (lot 14). Little depicts the exterior spiral staircases that are quintessential to the Plateau Mont-Royal neighbourhood. The painting presents a charming and inviting scene of daily life in Montreal on a summer evening.
Venturing further up the St. Lawrence River, the picturesque hills of the Charlevoix region can be seen in lot 87 Crépuscule, Charlevoix by Clarence Gagnon, dating to 1923 while the painter was living in Baie-Saint-Paul.
And finally, representing the Maritimes in the Spring Live Auction are three charming works by Nova Scotia folk artist Maud Lewis. Lot 85, Car Ride Through Town is likely based on memories from her first year of marriage. When Maud met Everett Lewis in 1938, the couple would venture out in his Ford Model T to sell fish around Digby County.
We invite you to view the full catalogue listing or set a preview appointment for Cowley Abbott’s Spring Live Auction of Important Canadian Art, for more landscapes as well as many other important artworks of different subjects. For questions or further information about the sale, do not hesitate to contact us at 1-866-931-8415 or [email protected].