Nicholas de Grandmaison

Nicholas de Grandmaison - Heffel Gallery

Nicholas de Grandmaison

1892 - 1978
ARCA OC

Nicholas de Grandmaison was born in Russia to an aristocratic family and spent his early life as an army officer. His training included the basics of drawing, used for cartography and topography. In 1919 he attended a Russian officers’ training camp in England, but a short time later, revolution in Russia closed the door to his returning to his homeland. Instead, he went to St. John's Wood School of Art in London, and in 1923, he immigrated to Canada, settling in Winnipeg.

Portraiture was his chosen genre, facilitated by his charming, engaging personality. In 1930, during a pivotal trip to The Pas in northern Manitoba, he became fascinated with First Nations peoples, traveling to their territories to meet with them, such as the Plains natives west of Winnipeg, the Blackfoot Reserve east of Calgary and the Stoney and Sarcee reserves west of Calgary. He spent time with the Blood Indians in southern Alberta, who had the largest reserve in Canada at the time and were still much like their ancestors, and it became his favourite place for subjects. He moved to Calgary to be in proximity to the Peigan, Stoney and Blood peoples.

In 1939, De Grandmaison moved with his family to Banff, and built a home with a studio there. In 1951 he began to take trips to the United States, first to North Dakota to paint Sioux Indians, then in 1952 to the Phoenix, Arizona area to depict Apache and Pima peoples. He also continued his work with commissioned portraiture, and beginning in 1956, he produced 20 portraits of well known Canadians such as Prime Minister John Diefenbaker for Notre Dame College in Saskatchewan.

De Grandmaison's role in preserving a record of the First Nations people of the prairies was recognized by an honorary doctorate from the University of Calgary in 1959 and the Order of Canada award in 1976. De Grandmaison saw his native subjects in a romantic light as independent and proud, and attained renown for his depictions of them. De Grandmaison passionately declared, “I love them as fellow brothers. They have character, color and history in their blood...These are my children, and I wish to preserve their faces for posterity. I shall paint them until I die.” The Peigan Tribe made him an honorary member in 1959, and when he died in 1978, he was buried on the Peigan Reserve.

Heffel 's Top Results
Record Nicholas de Grandmaison sale - Heffel Gallery - Buy and Sell art   Nicholas de Grandmaison
Portrait of a Plains Indian (00658/2013-03844)
26 1/2 x 20 1/2in 67.3 x 52.1cm
pastel on paper

Estimate:  $15,000 - $20,000 CDN
Sold for:   $44,250 CDN (premium included)

At Heffel's Fall 2014 - Imperial Oil Limited Charity Auction auction on Saturday, November 08, 2014
Record Nicholas de Grandmaison sale - Heffel Gallery - Buy and Sell art   Nicholas de Grandmaison
John Hunter, Stoney from Morley
24 x 18in 61 x 45.7cm
oil on canvas board

Estimate:  $12,000 - $16,000 CDN
Sold for:   $35,400 CDN (premium included)

At Heffel's Fall 2016 - 4th Session auction on Wednesday, November 23, 2016
Record Nicholas de Grandmaison sale - Heffel Gallery - Buy and Sell art   Nicholas de Grandmaison
Indian Chief
21 x 16 1/4in 53.3 x 41.3cm
pastel on paper

Estimate:  $9,000 - $12,000 CDN
Sold for:   $35,100 CDN (premium included)

At Heffel's November 2013 - 4th Session auction on Saturday, November 30, 2013
Record Nicholas de Grandmaison sale - Heffel Gallery - Buy and Sell art   Nicholas de Grandmaison
Portrait of an Indian
26 x 20in 66 x 50.8cm
pastel on sandpaper

Estimate:  $20,000 - $30,000 CDN
Sold for:   $32,450 CDN (premium included)

At Heffel's Fall 2016 - 3rd Session auction on Wednesday, November 23, 2016
Record Nicholas de Grandmaison sale - Heffel Gallery - Buy and Sell art   Nicholas de Grandmaison
Weasel Tail
19 x 21 3/4in 48.3 x 55.2cm
pastel on paper

Estimate:  $9,000 - $12,000 CDN
Sold for:   $26,325 CDN (premium included)

At Heffel's November 2011 - 3rd Session auction on Saturday, November 26, 2011
Record Nicholas de Grandmaison sale - Heffel Gallery - Buy and Sell art   Nicholas de Grandmaison
Papoose
16 x 12 3/8in 40.6 x 31.4cm
pastel on sandpaper

Estimate:  $7,000 - $9,000 CDN
Sold for:   $26,325 CDN (premium included)

At Heffel's February 2014 - 1st Session auction on Thursday, February 27, 2014
Record Nicholas de Grandmaison sale - Heffel Gallery - Buy and Sell art   Nicholas de Grandmaison
Portrait of an Indian
18 x 14in 45.7 x 35.6cm
pastel on sandpaper

Estimate:  $15,000 - $20,000 CDN
Sold for:   $25,000 CDN (premium included)

At Heffel's August 2017 - 3rd Session auction on Thursday, August 31, 2017
Record Nicholas de Grandmaison sale - Heffel Gallery - Buy and Sell art   Nicholas de Grandmaison
Indian Chief
18 x 14in 45.7 x 35.6cm
pastel on paper

Estimate:  $15,000 - $20,000 CDN
Sold for:   $23,400 CDN (premium included)

At Heffel's Fall 2008 - 2nd Session auction on Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Record Nicholas de Grandmaison sale - Heffel Gallery - Buy and Sell art   Nicholas de Grandmaison
Piegan Chief
21 x 14 3/4in 53.3 x 37.5cm
pastel on paper

Estimate:  $15,000 - $20,000 CDN
Sold for:   $22,500 CDN (premium included)

At Heffel's July 2017 - 3rd Session auction on Thursday, July 27, 2017
Record Nicholas de Grandmaison sale - Heffel Gallery - Buy and Sell art   Nicholas de Grandmaison
Indian Warrior
15 3/4 x 11 3/4in 40 x 29.8cm
1933
pastel on paper

Estimate:  $13,000 - $16,000 CDN
Sold for:   $21,850 CDN (premium included)

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