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LOT 146

Frank Hans (Franz) Johnston
1888 - 1949

Lake of the Woods
oil on board, circa 1921
signed faintly and on verso titled and dated circa 1920 on the Masters Gallery label
12 3/4 x 10 in 32.4 x 25.4 cm

Estimate: $15,000 - $25,000

Sold for: $46,250

Preview at: Heffel Toronto – 13 Hazelton Ave

Galerie Walter Klinkhoff Inc., Montreal
Masters Gallery Ltd., Calgary
By descent to the present Private Estate, Calgary

Roger Burford Mason, A Grand Eye for Glory: A Life of Franz Johnston, 1998, page 39

Lake of the Woods was produced during Frank Johnston’s sought-after Group of Seven period. Johnston had participated in the Group's Algoma trips of 1918, 1919 and 1920, and the influence of their painting together is clearly seen in this gem of an oil sketch, which scintillates with brilliant greens and blues. Lake of the Woods incorporates other Group characteristics, such as the use of the bare board to create contrast and the thick, textured brushwork. Johnston was part of the Group’s first exhibition in Toronto in 1920, which shocked critics of the day owing to the artists’ rebellion against European influence. Critical comments on the show, such as “tangled gardens and jungles of iridescence,” on the contrary now sound to us like praise.
Johnston left Toronto in 1921 to become principal of the Winnipeg School of Art, and he stayed there for four years. Each summer he and his family rented a cottage on the shores of Lake of the Woods, during which time Johnston was free to paint. This vivacious oil sketch is a superb work from this period, straight from the “jungles of iridescence.”

Estimate: $15,000 - $25,000

All prices are in Canadian Dollars

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