LOT 001

1913 - 2007

Entrance to Nanaimo Harbour
oil on board
signed and dated 1948 and on verso signed, titled, dated, inscribed with the Dominion Gallery inventory #F1354 and stamped Dominion Gallery
8 1/2 x 10 3/4 in, 21.6 x 27.3 cm

Estimate: $30,000 - $50,000

Sold for: $73,250

Preview at: Heffel Toronto – 13 Hazelton Ave

Dominion Gallery, Montreal
Acquired from the above by a Private Collection, Ottawa, 1952
By descent to the present Private Collection, Maryland, USA

Ian M. Thom, E.J. Hughes, Vancouver Art Gallery, 2002, the 1950 canvas Steamer Arriving at Nanaimo reproduced page 86

The late 1940s and early 1950s were a pivotal time in the life of E.J. Hughes—after being an official war artist, he was demobilized in 1946 and settled in Victoria, resuming his painting of British Columbia. Lawren Harris, then living in Vancouver, offered him valuable consultation, and Hughes was nominated to the Canadian Group of Painters. Over the next few years, his work was acquired by Hart House, the Vancouver Art Gallery and the National Gallery of Canada, and he was discovered by influential art dealer Dr. Max Stern of Montreal’s Dominion Gallery.

During 1948, funded by an Emily Carr scholarship, Hughes made a sketching trip to the east coast of Vancouver Island, including Nanaimo—the subject of this rare early work. Hughes used these oil sketches to create larger studio paintings, and a 1950 canvas entitled Steamer Arriving at Nanaimo shows a close-up view of a similar steamer pulling up to this same dock. The coastal steamer is an important motif in Hughes’s work. These unique and striking boats plied the waters of the West Coast for decades, and now that they are gone, we treasure them in Hughes’s work with a romantic nostalgia.

Estimate: $30,000 - $50,000

All prices are in Canadian Dollars

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