LOT 104

1873 - 1932

Peaks Above Lake O'Hara
oil on board
signed and dated 1929 and on verso signed, titled, inscribed 1 (circled) / 5115 / 2 and monogrammed with the artist's initials and 1932
8 1/2 x 10 1/2 in, 21.6 x 26.7 cm

Estimate: $50,000 - $70,000 CAD

Sold for: $58,250

Preview at:

By descent to the present Private Collection, Michigan

Lisa Christensen, The Lake O’Hara Art of J.E.H. MacDonald and Hiker’s Guide, 2003, page 59

J.E.H. MacDonald’s first trip to the Rocky Mountains was in 1924. While there, he experienced his first sight of Lake O’Hara, and he returned to this area on subsequent trips, painting it numerous times. It particularly affected him, and he wrote about this landscape and the uplifting state of mind it induced in his travel journals, which included poetry:

Lovely the morning

Lifts her tiara

Over the snow crests

Lighting O’Hara

Far do you call me

Heavenly mountains

Lead my soul wandering

By your green fountains.

The ever-changing weather, light and atmospheric conditions around Lake O’Hara were an inspiration for MacDonald as he produced on-the-spot oil sketches such as this. To get this view, MacDonald hiked up into the steep slopes around the lake, and this eagle’s-nest vantage point is particularly striking. The sculpted pyramidal peak pierces the sky and looms above the small but brilliant patch of Lake O’Hara’s turquoise water below. In this stunning oil, executed in the classic Group of Seven sketch size of 8 ½ x 10 ½ inches, MacDonald has masterfully created the illusion of a large-scale landscape of epic grandeur.

Estimate: $50,000 - $70,000 CAD

All prices are in Canadian Dollars

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