1873 - 1954
The Blind Beggar/Old Soldier
oil on canvas on board
signed and inscribed "Paris" and on verso titled "The Blind Beggar" and "Old Soldier" on the City of Vancouver Museum Storage label and bears signature on the City of Vancouver Museum Storage label
25 3/4 x 21 1/2 in, 65.4 x 54.6 cm
Estimate: $3,000 - $5,000 CAD
Sold for: $3,750
The Estate of Mary Riter Hamilton, Vancouver
Irene Gammel, I Can Only Paint, 2020, page 70 and 341 no.12, a pastel version of The Blind Beggar with "Paris" on recto mentioned
4593 West 6th Avenue, Vancouver, Display of Mrs. Mary Hamilton's Pictures, June 25, 1948
In 1919 Mary Riter Hamilton left Victoria for France to record her impressions of the war scarred nation. She later told a journalist "It seemed to me that something was in danger of being lost. I did not come on any official mission, I had to come." In her 2020 book on Mary Riter Hamilton, Irene Gammel writes how the artist observed the dramatic difference since her last visit to Paris in 1911. Among those differences were the scores of refugees who had been driven from their homes along the French western fronts. This painting shows one of these figures, a war veteran wearing a military overcoat now begging on the streets. Hamilton depicts him with indistinct features, indicating that he represents one among the many souls ravaged by the catastrophic war.
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