ARCA CSPWC G7 OSA
1888 - 1949
Song of September
oil on board
signed and on verso signed and titled and titled on the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts label
24 x 30 in, 61 x 76.2 cm
Estimate: $18,000 - $22,000 CAD
Sold for: $37,250
Private Collection, Ontario
Following his brief tenure as an original member of the Group of Seven, Frank (Franz) Johnston’s stylistic approach underwent subtle transformations. He began to move away from a more rugged approach, common to what could be termed the Ontario School of Canadian Impressionism, and adopted a more romantic style, often focused on delicate and evocative effects of light. Song of September relates beautifully to each of these two periods. The textures and palette throughout, particularly in the hilly foreground, are reminiscent of his work done on the famous Group of Seven Algoma Boxcar expeditions, while the classical sense of depth and the dappled light on the forest floor are very much in line with his best mid-career examples.
Notable, too, is the painting’s title. There are examples of Johnston’s “Song” titles dotted throughout his auction record, such as A Song of Winter sold by Heffel in November of 2017. His recurring selection of these particular titles seems to suggest his ongoing attempts to capture the lyrical, poetic beauty he saw in nature.
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