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LOT 006

Edward John (E.J.) Hughes
1913 - 2007

Vancouver Boat at the Old Wharf, Nanaimo, BC
graphite on paper
signed and on verso signed, titled and titled CPR Boat at Nanaimo Harbour on the gallery label, dated 1958 and inscribed "Steamer" (crossed out)
14 1/4 x 22 in 36.2 x 55.9 cm

Estimate: $30,000 - $40,000

Sold for: $169,250

Preview at:

Dominion Gallery, Montreal
Heffel Gallery Limited, Vancouver
Private Collection, Vancouver

Jacques Barbeau, The E.J. Hughes Album: The Paintings, Volume 1, 1932 - 1991, 2011, the 1958 oil entitled Steamer at the Old Wharf, Nanaimo reproduced page 28

Starting during his time as an official war artist during World War II and continuing once he returned to Vancouver Island, E.J. Hughes produced finely finished graphite drawings in the studio that he called cartoons, in which he worked out his composition and tonal values. These drawings were critical to the paintings that followed and were also polished works of art in themselves. Vancouver Boat at the Old Wharf, Nanaimo, BC is a particularly large and exquisitely detailed cartoon that showcases the artist’s keen awareness of patterning and mastery of spatial complexity. The distinctive steamer ferry that once plied the coastal waters of British Columbia is the dramatic focal point, but the drawing is packed with visual interest everywhere you look – such as period cars, docks with small boats, arbutus trees and rocky outcroppings above the shore. Balancing the human presence in the Nanaimo harbour is the striking coastal setting, with outlying islands and points of land in the distance.

Cartoons such as this are rare, as Hughes produced only a few after 1959. However, Hughes expressed a longing to produce more, as he so greatly enjoyed the process of doing them.

Estimate: $30,000 - $40,000

All prices are in Canadian Dollars

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