LOT 104

1898 - 1967

Citadel from Quebec
oil on canvas
21 x 28 in, 53.3 x 71.1 cm

Estimate: $70,000 - $90,000 CAD

Preview at:

G. Blair Laing Limited, Toronto
Private Collection, Toronto

T.R. MacDonald and Harold Beament, Robert W. Pilot Retrospective, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, 1968, a similar work entitled The Ferry Landing reproduced page 12

It seems hard to believe today that the arrival of Impressionism in Canada in the early 1890s was initially met with resistance by collectors and critics. However, by the time Robert Pilot began to paint in this style, this new concept of art and beauty had been embraced. His subjects were not the standard ones of the French, such as sun-drenched haystacks and dappled outdoor cafés; instead, his scenes often depicted Quebec’s cities and countryside cloaked in frost and snow. His atmospheres were composed of cool winter light, ice mists and drifting snowflakes. Here we see an exquisite, delicate palette of pastel tones in the snow and sky, with tints of mauve, pink, grey and blue. Green streaks suggest the tracks of the horse-drawn carts and give definition to the snowy ground. This is a classic scene for Pilot - a view of Quebec City’s citadel from the far shore, with a ferry at dock in the mid-ground. The painting is a superb example of this subject, with billowing clouds, softly piled snow and the undulating trail of smoke rising from the boat adding to the marvellous sense of atmosphere.

Estimate: $70,000 - $90,000 CAD

All prices are in Canadian Dollars

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