LOT 115

1873 - 1932

York Mills
oil on panel
initialed and dated 1919 faintly and on verso titled, dated and inscribed "J.E.H. MacDonald"
8 3/8 x 10 1/2 in, 21.3 x 26.7 cm

Estimate: $20,000 - $30,000 CAD

Sold for: $55,250

Preview at: Heffel Toronto – 13 Hazelton Ave

Galerie Walter Klinkhoff Inc., Montreal
Private Collection, Montreal

In 1917 J.E.H. MacDonald had to rent out his house at Thornhill. He moved to the house of Mrs. Lucille Taylor at Usher Farm in York Mills, then a rural area close to Toronto, and stayed there for about 18 months. The neighbouring farm, also owned by Mrs. Taylor, was rented out to the Arts and Letters Club, whose members cultivated it as part of the war effort. During this time, MacDonald suffered a crisis, and ill health forced him to curtail his activities, so he wrote poetry and painted the countryside around York Mills. The gentle landscape there had a healing effect, and he focused on pastoral subjects such as in this green and glowing oil sketch. It is a refined and tranquil composition, in which a wall of trees is contained by a rustic split-rail fence, and active clouds stream across a turquoise sky. The National Gallery of Canada has MacDonald’s sketch Orchard at York Mills (1919) in its collection, and the Art Gallery of Ontario possesses his two oil sketches Flower Border, Usher Farm, York Mills (1915 – 1916) and Arts and Letters Club Farm, York Mills (1917).

Estimate: $20,000 - $30,000 CAD

All prices are in Canadian Dollars

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