LOT 105

1873 - 1932

Wiwaxy Peaks, Lake O'Hara Camp
oil on board
initialed and dated 1928 and on verso titled on various labels, dated September 18, 1928 on the Galerie Alan Klinkhoff label and inscribed "H.S. Southam CMG" and "1378" on various labels
8 1/2 x 10 3/4 in, 21.6 x 27.3 cm

Estimate: $80,000 - $120,000 CAD

Sold for: $97,250

Preview at:

Mellors Fine Arts Ltd., Toronto
Collection of H.S. Southam, Ottawa
Collection of John Armstrong, Calgary
Masters Gallery Ltd., Calgary
Private Collection, Arizona
Galerie Alan Klinkhoff, Montreal
Private Collection, Montreal

Wiwaxy Peaks is near Lake O’Hara in Yoho National Park, one of J.E.H. MacDonald’s favourite sketching areas in the Rockies. During his painting trips there in the 1920s, MacDonald stayed at Lake O’Hara Bungalow Camp in 1924 and 1925. Construction of a new lodge began in 1925, and the original cabins were moved from the alpine meadows to the shores of Lake O’Hara nearby. After 1926, MacDonald continued to use these cabins as his base. The distinctive ridge lines of Wiwaxy Peaks were a regular motif in the artist’s design work and his sketches of the Lake O’Hara area.

On September 1, 1928, MacDonald arrived at the Lake O’Hara camp. Lawren Harris, Fred Housser and Arthur Lismer were already sketching there, and MacDonald found himself in stimulating company. MacDonald’s paintings of the Rockies were sculptural, raw and visceral. The weather in the area was wild, with snow, rain or hail, but MacDonald delighted in the alpine conditions and the varied skies. This superb oil sketch captures the imposing, massive peaks, fully revealed after a summer of melting snow. MacDonald’s rugged brush-strokes express the verticality of the rough-hewn rock ridges falling to the verdant valley, while the paler range behind gives the impression of distance. An opening in the sky casts light over the background range, while above, dark clouds express the changeable and dramatic atmosphere that MacDonald found so interesting.

Estimate: $80,000 - $120,000 CAD

All prices are in Canadian Dollars

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