LOT 152

1873 - 1932

Little Bruges, Lake Simcoe
oil on board, circa 1921
on verso signed, titled and inscribed "To Myrtle and Ralph, with my good wish" / "June 21, 1921" /" J.E.H. MacD."
8 1/2 x 10 3/8 in, 21.6 x 26.4 cm

Estimate: $40,000 - $60,000 CAD

Sold for: $37,250

Preview at:

A wedding gift from the Artist to Ralph and Myrtle Hardy, 1921
By descent to the present Private Collection, Ottawa

Sensitive yet expansive, this oil sketch is from a part of J.E.H. MacDonald’s oeuvre sometimes called his “Big Sky” paintings. Produced from the 1910s to the early 1920s, and mainly of Lake Simcoe, these rare studies feature a horizon line dropped to the bottom of the composition. The artist then uses the expanse of sky to explore colour, gesture and form. Some of these works present voluminous cloud formations, while others, such as this one, are minimal nearly to the point of abstraction, and exquisite in their delicacy. This particular work was the artist’s wedding gift to Myrtle and Ralph Hardy in 1921. The artist was a close friend of the Hardys, and they referred to him warmly, as other friends sometimes did, as “Jamie.” Notably, this work is presented in the original frame created by the artist, executed in the Arts and Crafts style that so influenced him. MacDonald acquired these skills from his father, William H. MacDonald, a cabinetmaker. This painting bears a noteworthy history, and its subtle expression speaks directly to the astonishing nuance of which MacDonald was capable.

Estimate: $40,000 - $60,000 CAD

All prices are in Canadian Dollars

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