Lionel Lemoine FitzGerald

Lionel Lemoine FitzGerald - Heffel Gallery

Lionel Lemoine FitzGerald

1890 - 1956
CGP G7 MSA

Lionel Lemoine FitzGerald was born in Winnipeg in 1890 and the Manitoba prairie was his seminal inspiration throughout his career. FitzGerald began to draw as a young man, taking pencil to paper in order to alleviate the boredom of his job at a wholesale drugstore. In 1908 he rented a studio with painter Nigel Wigston of A.S. Keszthelyi’s School of Fine Arts, where FitzGerald would himself enroll the following year. In 1910 he traveled to Chicago and visited the Art Institute. Upon his return to Winnipeg he exhibited at the Public Library in a show sponsored by the Women’s Art Association and worked as a commercial artist in the display department of T. Eaton Co. Ltd., a job he detested.

The year 1913 was a pivotal one in Winnipeg. FitzGerald exhibited a landscape with the Royal Canadian Academy, and both the Winnipeg School of Art and the Winnipeg Museum of Fine Arts (now the Winnipeg Art Gallery) opened. Also that year, the Winnipeg branch of Brigden’s Limited was established and became a steady employer of Winnipeg-based artists. Additionally in 1913, watercolourist and printmaker Walter J. Phillips and wood engraver Henry Bergman would move to Winnipeg.

FitzGerald’s work is characterized by fine detail, dots and cross hatching in his drawings, and tiny brush-strokes in his paintings. His work would grow increasingly spare and abstract over the course of his career. In 1918 the National Gallery of Canada would acquire Late Fall, Manitoba. After his first one-man exhibition in 1921 he studied in New York at the Art Students League with Boardman Robinson and Kenneth Hayes Miller. In 1924 he began to teach at the Winnipeg School of Art. A respected and influential teacher, he would be appointed principal in 1929, and teach there for 25 years.

In 1928 the Arts and Letters Club held an exhibition of his work organized by Group of Seven founding member J.E.H. MacDonald. Ironically, FitzGerald would replace MacDonald in the Group after his death in 1932. He would then go on to become a founding member of the Canadian Group of Painters in 1933.

FitzGerald’s artistic peers also included the printmaker Fritz Brandtner who would move to Winnipeg in 1928, and in 1929 he met Bertram Brooker, with whom he would have a long association. That same year he would have a show at Dent’s Publishing House in Toronto, which brought his art to a much wider audience. FitzGerald was a painstaking artist, working in meticulous detail on finely executed works of simple palette and composition. Each work took countless hours to execute, and his paintings of backyards, apples, branches, ponds and trees are notable both for his highly simplified composition as well as his spare and precise approach to applying paint. His drawings and watercolours can best be described as esoteric pointillism. His modernist approach and the solitary, quiet nature of his works place them apart from the mainstream of art that was happening around him. While Winnipeg was always his home base, he traveled repeatedly to the West Coast in the 1940s, where he executed a series of sensitive and expansive studies of trees and beach scenes.

FitzGerald was given an honorary LL.D. from the University of Manitoba in 1952. His life and work were the subject of a memorial exhibition at the National Gallery of Canada in 1958, a retrospective at the Shakespearean Festival in Stratford, Ontario in 1962, the Winnipeg Art Gallery, 1963, the School of Art of the University of Manitoba in 1977, the Edmonton Art Gallery in 1982 and in 1994 at the Vancouver Art Gallery. The School of Art building at the University of Manitoba was named the FitzGerald Building in his honor in 1977, and the FitzGerald Study Centre contains his archive and supports the study of his work. Additionally, the Royal Canadian Mint issued a gold coin honoring his work Houses, in 2003.

Heffel 's Top Results
Record Lionel Lemoine FitzGerald sale - Heffel Gallery - Buy and Sell art   Lionel Lemoine FitzGerald
Figure in the Woods
36 x 24in 91.4 x 61cm
oil on canvas

Estimate:  $25,000 - $30,000 CDN
Sold for:   $97,750 CDN (premium included)

At Heffel's Fine Canadian Art Spring 2004 auction on Thursday, May 27, 2004
Record Lionel Lemoine FitzGerald sale - Heffel Gallery - Buy and Sell art   Lionel Lemoine FitzGerald
Bright Summer's Day
10 x 12in 25.4 x 30.5cm
oil on canvas board

Estimate:  $20,000 - $25,000 CDN
Sold for:   $48,875 CDN (premium included)

At Heffel's Fine Canadian Art Fall 2005 auction on Thursday, November 24, 2005
Record Lionel Lemoine FitzGerald sale - Heffel Gallery - Buy and Sell art   Lionel Lemoine FitzGerald
Winter Landscape
9 x 12in 22.9 x 30.5cm
oil on canvas on board

Estimate:  $10,000 - $15,000 CDN
Sold for:   $41,300 CDN (premium included)

At Heffel's Spring 2014 - 2nd Session auction on Wednesday, May 28, 2014
Record Lionel Lemoine FitzGerald sale - Heffel Gallery - Buy and Sell art   Lionel Lemoine FitzGerald
Kildonan Park
9 x 12in 22.9 x 30.5cm
oil on canvas on board

Estimate:  $9,000 - $12,000 CDN
Sold for:   $32,175 CDN (premium included)

At Heffel's Fall 2009 - 2nd Session auction on Thursday, November 26, 2009
Record Lionel Lemoine FitzGerald sale - Heffel Gallery - Buy and Sell art   Lionel Lemoine FitzGerald
Prairie Landscape
10 x 12in 25.4 x 30.5cm
circa 1920
oil on canvas

Estimate:  $12,000 - $15,000 CDN
Sold for:   $29,500 CDN (premium included)

At Heffel's Fall 2015 - 2nd Session auction on Thursday, November 26, 2015
Record Lionel Lemoine FitzGerald sale - Heffel Gallery - Buy and Sell art   Lionel Lemoine FitzGerald
Winter Landscape with Trees
11 1/8 x 14 1/8in 28.3 x 35.9cm
oil on canvas

Estimate:  $18,000 - $24,000 CDN
Sold for:   $29,250 CDN (premium included)

At Heffel's Fall 2011 - 2nd Session auction on Thursday, November 24, 2011
Record Lionel Lemoine FitzGerald sale - Heffel Gallery - Buy and Sell art   Lionel Lemoine FitzGerald
Barn and Lane
22 x 20in 55.9 x 50.8cm
oil on canvas

Estimate:  $20,000 - $25,000 CDN
Sold for:   $28,750 CDN (premium included)

At Heffel's Fine Canadian Art Spring 2002 auction on Thursday, May 02, 2002
Record Lionel Lemoine FitzGerald sale - Heffel Gallery - Buy and Sell art   Lionel Lemoine FitzGerald
Barn and Lane
22 x 20in 55.9 x 50.8cm
oil on canvas

Estimate:  $25,000 - $35,000 CDN
Sold for:   $26,550 CDN (premium included)

At Heffel's Spring 2014 - 2nd Session auction on Wednesday, May 28, 2014
Record Lionel Lemoine FitzGerald sale - Heffel Gallery - Buy and Sell art   Lionel Lemoine FitzGerald
Landscape
35 x 46 1/2in 88.9 x 118.1cm
oil on canvas on board

Estimate:  $20,000 - $25,000 CDN
Sold for:   $21,060 CDN (premium included)

At Heffel's May 2011 - 2nd Session auction on Thursday, May 26, 2011
Record Lionel Lemoine FitzGerald sale - Heffel Gallery - Buy and Sell art   Lionel Lemoine FitzGerald
Bright Summer's Day
10 x 12in 25.4 x 30.5cm
oil on panel

Estimate:  $7,000 - $9,000 CDN
Sold for:   $19,550 CDN (premium included)

At Heffel's Fine Canadian Art Fall 2001 auction on Thursday, November 08, 2001
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