LOT 133

1882 - 1953

White Ash Tree
oil on canvas
signed, dated October 19, 1922 and inscribed "MR" and on verso titled "Clarke's House", dated by Douglas Duncan and inscribed "0-37" and "0-79" (crossed out)
12 x 16 in, 30.5 x 40.6 cm

Estimate: $30,000 - $40,000 CAD

Sold for: $109,250

Preview at:

Douglas Duncan Picture Loan Society, circa 1965
Private Collection, Toronto
By descent to the present Private Collection, Vancouver

David Milne Jr. and David P. Silcox, David B. Milne: Catalogue Raisonné of the Paintings, Volume 1: 1882 - 1928, 1998, reproduced page 367, catalogue #204.92

In 1921, David Milne accepted an offer of a friend from his student days, Howard Sherman, a commercial artist in New York, to stay for the winter at his house in Mount Riga, a tiny hamlet south of Boston Corners. While doing some carpentry in exchange for living there, Milne set to work painting and produced a steady output. He also began making accomplished colour drypoint prints. In spring of 1922, Milne took a break from painting to scout the Adirondacks for jobs, as he needed income, but in the fall he returned to Mount Riga to this same house, which had been bought in March by Milne’s friend James Clarke. Milne soon found his creative pulse again, painting his evolving renovations of Clarke’s house, as well as the surrounding countryside.

While in Mount Riga, Milne worked on his painting techniques, such as drawing in the paint with his brush handle, working tints into the paint while it was still wet, and layering to develop textures. In White Ash Tree, Milne used hues close in tone—greens and greys—for the major colour areas, softly rubbing them together for a textural effect. He used strong coloured outlines to define his forms, and highlights of blue, red, gold and purple enliven the tonal palette. White Ash Tree is a sophisticated work, painted with sensitivity and confidence.

Estimate: $30,000 - $40,000 CAD

All prices are in Canadian Dollars

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