Lot # 149
James Edward Hervey (J.E.H.) MacDonald
ALC CGP G7 OSA RCA 1873 - 1932 Canadian
Study for Lake O'Hara and Cathedral Mountain, Rockies
oil on board circa 1924 ~ 1927
signed and on verso inscribed "38741" and "1701"
8 1/2 x 10 1/2 in 21.6 x 26.7cm
Acquired directly from the Artist by Mr. and Mrs. Hume Wrong, Toronto
By descent within the family of the above, Ottawa
J.E.H. MacDonald, RCA, 1873 - 1932, The Art Gallery of Toronto, 1965, the 1928 canvas entitled Lake O'Hara and Cathedral Mountain, Rockies reproduced page 43
Lisa Christensen, A Hiker's Guide to Art of the Canadian Rockies, Glenbow Museum, 1996, a related 1927 oil sketch for the canvas entitled Cathedral Peak and Lake O'Hara, in the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, reproduced page 70
Robert Stacey and Hunter Bishop, J.E.H. MacDonald: Designer, 1996, the watercolour and ink work entitled Morning, Cathedral Mountain reproduced page 35, plate # IV:3, a black and white view of the peak from A Portfolio of Pictures from the Canadian Section of Fine Arts, British Empire Exhibition, London, reproduced page 54 and a circa 1929 ink drawing entitled Mountain Snowfall reproduced page 83, plate #III: 101
Catherine M. Mastin, The Group of Seven in Western Canada, Glenbow Museum, 2002, the 1928 canvas entitled Lake O'Hara and Cathedral Mountain, Rockies reproduced page 53
Canadian National Exhibition, Toronto, 1928, the 1928 canvas entitled Lake O'Hara and Cathedral Mountain, Rockies, catalogue #368
Ontario Society of Artists, Annual Exhibition, 1928, the 1928 canvas entitled Lake O'Hara and Cathedral Mountain, Rockies, catalogue #91
National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Annual Exhibition, 1929, the 1928 canvas entitled Lake O'Hara and Cathedral Mountain, Rockies, catalogue #102
The Art Gallery of Toronto, Memorial Exhibition of the Work of J.E.H. MacDonald, January 1933, the 1928 canvas entitled Lake O'Hara and Cathedral Mountain, Rockies, catalogue #137
National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Memorial Exhibition of the Work of J.E.H. MacDonald, RCA, February 1933, the 1928 canvas entitled Lake O'Hara and Cathedral Mountain, Rockies, catalogue #32
National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Retrospective Exhibition of Paintings by Members of the Group of Seven 1919 - 1933, March - May 1936, traveling to The Art Gallery of Toronto and The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the 192
Glenbow Museum, Calgary, The Group of Seven in Western Canada, 2002, traveling from 2002 to 2004 to the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, the Winnipeg Art Gallery and the Art Gallery of Victoria, the 1928 canvas entitled Lake O'Hara and Cathedral Mountain, Rockies, catalogue #48
Hume Wrong was the son of George MacKinnon Wrong (head of the Department of History at the University of Toronto) and Sophia Blake Wrong (daughter of Edward Blake, second Premier of Ontario and a leader of the Liberal Party of Canada). In late August of 1925, Hume Wrong, his wife, his sister and a colleague from the University of Toronto took a hiking holiday through the Canadian Rockies. They hiked into Moraine Lake and then to Lake O'Hara. On September 1 they stayed at the Lake O'Hara Bungalow Camp (also called the Log Cabin Camp). The Bungalow Camp consisted of Wiwaxy Cabin, built in 1911, and a number of private outlying log cabins built in the ensuing years to accommodate guests. As the camp grew in popularity, a larger cookhouse with a common room was needed, and the Elizabeth Parker Hut was built in 1919.
J.E.H. MacDonald would have spent three of his visits to O'Hara in this camp, and he met the Wrongs in 1925. In his journal, he writes, "Toronto party here last night. Smith and Mr. and Mrs. Hume Wrong and Miss Wrong of Varsity." Family lore states that the Wrongs purchased this lot and lot 150 - either then, or upon their return to Toronto. At the time, Hume Wrong was a professor of history at the University of Toronto. He gave up his position several years later, joining the fledgling Department of External Affairs, and subsequently served as the Canadian Ambassador to Washington for many years. Many of the pictures in the Hart House Collection at the University of Toronto were donated by the Wrong and Blake families. These rare works have been passed down within the family until their consignment to Heffel.
The year 1925 was MacDonald's second one painting at Lake O'Hara. He was enamoured of the scenery there, and felt that his favourite authors, John Muir and Henry David Thoreau, would also approve. MacDonald noted his delight at the endless variety of subjects and the magnificent colour of the lakes. His entry from two days before the Wrongs arrived paints a picture of his contentment and the excitement he felt about painting his surroundings, stating "This was a perfect mountain day. There is such grandeur about the landscape, and such an unusual character that one easily pictures it as the setting of a future state. No golden streets, but silver peaks." He continues the next day, "Sketched at O'Hara this morning, effect delicacy. The idea, the clear but delicate light tones of the mountain in shadow, the lake colour absolutely unapproachable." He had already established the Opabin Plateau and Lake Oesa as favoured sketching spots, and stashed his materials there for return trips. This stunning panel is the study for the canvas Lake O'Hara and Cathedral Mountain, Rockies. The canvas holds the record for the artist at auction, and it is interesting to compare it to the study. The study is significantly more detailed than many of his sketches, likely indicating that he was pleased with it and intended to take it further in the studio upon his return to Toronto. It captures, as MacDonald sought, the idea of things: the softness of the lake colour, the shadows on Cathedral Mountain, the light on the distant forest, the lighter touches of colour of the larches nearby, which are more fully detailed in the canvas. The subject is a classic Lake O'Hara vista, and was painted at what was perhaps his favourite viewpoint, looking over the edge of the Opabin Plateau, down and back towards the lake.
S'est vendu pour: $245,700.00 CAN (prime d'achat incluse)
Estimation: 200,000 $ ~ 250,000 $ CAN
Exposé à: Heffel Fine Art Inc. Toronto