LOT 109

1888 - 1949

oil on board, circa 1918 - 1920
signed and on verso inscribed by the artist "This is an authentic painting by Franz Johnston" and variously
10 1/2 x 13 1/4 in, 26.7 x 33.7 cm

Estimate: $12,000 - $16,000 CAD

Sold for: $17,500

Preview at:

Mr. and Mrs. A. Crawford Kenny, Toronto
By descent to a Private Collection, Toronto
Canadian Fine Art, Heffel Fine Art Auction House, July 15, 2020, lot 109
Private Collection, Ontario

A wonderful study in form, colour and texture, this oil sketch also speaks to the many influences that contributed to Frank (Franz) Johnston’s style. Though his method would later resolve into a more classically romantic approach, this gestural work prefigures that period and places it more in line with the sensibilities of the Group of Seven. Though formally exhibiting with them only once, in their first eponymous exhibition—which took place 100 years ago this spring—Johnston painted with them for much of the decade prior to that. Their common vision was born from the confluence of their shared influences. While inspired by European Impressionism and Nordic modernism, many of the Group were also employed as graphic designers. This particular work’s flattened composition and clearly delineated areas of pattern relate to Johnston’s own training as a commercial artist. In addition to Toronto, this career took him to Philadelphia and New York, where he worked with renowned designers such as Louis Fancher, and contributed to a style that would find full expression in works such as this.

Estimate: $12,000 - $16,000 CAD

All prices are in Canadian Dollars

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