ARCA CSPWC G7 OSA
1888 - 1949
pastel and gouache on board
signed and monogrammed
19 3/4 x 20 in, 50.2 x 50.8 cm
Estimate: $10,000 - $15,000 CAD
Sold for: $8,125
Private Collection, Toronto
For a more complete understanding of the art produced by members of the Group of Seven, the time many of them spent as commercial artists must be taken into account. This very much holds true for Franz Johnston. Johnston received a rich and varied technical education, with his early training coming from Toronto’s Central Technical School. He then studied in Germany before taking a position in 1908 at the Toronto commercial art firm Grip Limited, where he met both J.E.H MacDonald and Tom Thomson. From there, he moved to the United States, studying at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. He worked again as a commercial artist in New York, before returning to Toronto during World War 1. The synthesis of these influences, along with his mastery of media such as pastel and gouache, allowed him to produce works such as this. The extremely specific yet elegant composition speaks to the depths of Johnston’s graphic education, while stylistically, the pervasive early-twentieth century influence of Japonism can be clearly felt, right down to the artist’s stylized “chop mark” monogram in the lower left.
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