LOT 111

1869 - 1959

Young Woman
oil on canvas
initialed and dated Dec. 1901 and on verso titled on the gallery label
30 x 17 in, 76.2 x 43.2 cm

Estimate: $15,000 - $25,000 CAD

Sold for: $18,750

Preview at: Heffel Toronto – 13 Hazelton Ave

Continental Galleries, Montreal
Peter Ohler Fine Arts Ltd., Vancouver
Private Collection, Vancouver

A.K. Prakash, Independent Spirit: Early Canadian Women Artists, 2008, titled as Woman by the Fire, reproduced page 131

In 1890, Sophie Pemberton traveled from her birthplace in Victoria, British Columbia, to London, England, where she studied at the Slade School of Fine Art. A stint at the Académie Julian in Paris followed. Around 1899, she was living in London, sharing a studio with the Swedish artist Anna Nordgren. Thereafter, she alternated living in England and Victoria until returning to Victoria permanently in 1947.

Pemberton was known for her portraiture, and both English and European influences can be seen in her work. Young Woman is an outstanding example of her painterly abilities. Pemberton’s handling of light is exceptional; the warmth of the firelight floods the room, illuminating the side of the woman’s dress. Her handling of drapery, painted with soft brush-strokes, is also very fine. Pemberton’s brushwork becomes almost abstract in the background, focusing all the attention on the young woman and creating a soft, glowing atmosphere. The subject’s costume, with the soft folds of her dress, oversize hat and beribboned staff, make her an idealized figure of femininity, and the lush bouquet she holds symbolizes the purity and freshness of youth.

An exhibition of Sophie Pemberton’s work entitled Unexpected: The Life and Art of Sophie Pemberton, Canadian Artist, guest curated by Kathryn Bridge, will take place at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria from September 2023 to January 2024.

Estimate: $15,000 - $25,000 CAD

All prices are in Canadian Dollars

Although great care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information posted, errors and omissions may occur. All bids are subject to our Terms and Conditions of Business. Bidders must ensure they have satisfied themselves with the condition of the Lot prior to bidding. Condition reports are available upon request.