LOT 105

1873 - 1932

The Lilac Bush at the Artist's Home - Thornhill House
oil on board
initialed and on verso signed, titled and titled variously, dated 1929, inscribed "TM" and variously and numbered 293 / 2898 / 6977
8 1/2 x 10 1/2 in, 21.6 x 26.7 cm

Estimate: $25,000 - $35,000 CAD

Sold for: $24,063

Preview at:

Collection of Mr. and Mrs. A. Crawford Kenny, Toronto
Galerie Walter Klinkhoff Inc., Montreal
Sold sale of Canadian Art, Joyner / Waddington's, November 23, 2004, lot 26
The Art Emporium, Vancouver, March 31, 2006
Private Collection, Vancouver

In 1911, J.E.H. MacDonald moved to Thornhill, north of Toronto, where he acquired the Victorian-era farmhouse Four Elms, named for the towering trees that surrounded it. Four Elms had an orchard and garden and was surrounded by fields, and for the sensitive and poetic MacDonald, it was the perfect rural retreat - he kept the property all his life and passed it on to his son, Thoreau. MacDonald invited other members of the Group of Seven to stay there, and he painted sketches of the surrounds, such as this fine scene. He responded to the sensuality of the lush vegetation and produced one of his best known canvases there, Tangled Garden, in the collection of the National Gallery of Canada. In 1929, MacDonald was appointed principal of the Ontario College of Art, but Thornhill remained a sanctuary from his busy teaching life. In this work, the lilac bush is the central focus, and the viewer can imagine the perfume from the profuse and luxuriant flower stalks wafting over the sweet scent of the grassy fields. MacDonald’s brushwork, particularly in the mauve blooms, emphasizes the vibrant quality of the lilac bush, and the rich blue sky, green grass and pale aura over the house emphasize the energetic charge of this pastoral scene.

Estimate: $25,000 - $35,000 CAD

All prices are in Canadian Dollars

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