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LOT 152

James Edward Hervey (J.E.H.) MacDonald
1873 - 1932

Elms by a Stream
oil on board, circa 1919
on verso signed, titled and inscribed "60.00" and variously
8 1/2 x 10 1/2 in 21.6 x 26.7 cm

Estimate: $20,000 - $30,000

Sold for: $25,000

Preview at: Heffel Toronto – 13 Hazelton Ave

Sold sale of Canadian Art and Fine Jewellery, Sotheby's Canada, May 27, 1985, lot 778
Sold sale of Canadian Art, Joyner Fine Art, November 17, 1995, lot 67
Private Collection, Toronto
Sold sale of Fine Art, Levis Fine Art, November 4, 1997, lot 203
By descent to the present Private Estate, Calgary

Sandra Martin, “Digging Up J.E.H. MacDonald’s Tangled Garden,” The Globe and Mail, April 21, 2018, https://www.theglobeandmail.com/arts/digging-up-jeh-macdonalds-tangled-garden/article1005233, accessed August 6, 2019

In 1911, J.E.H. MacDonald moved to Thornhill, where he purchased a property with a Victorian-era farmhouse named Four Elms, for the towering trees that surrounded it. Thornhill was a mecca for other artists - members of the Group of Seven and Tom Thomson visited MacDonald there. Former National Gallery of Canada curator of Canadian art Charles C. Hill commented, “Of all the Group, he is the one who is most linked to an earlier rural tradition…The house, the gardens and the fields around formed a part of his home base and had a lot of meaning for him. If you look at the early photographs and those gorgeous elm trees and the gardens and the wooden barn with its stone foundation, it [the place] is almost like a sculpture in itself.” MacDonald’s depiction of these pastoral fields and towering elms is lush and sun-drenched. His brushwork is bold and textural, and his palette glows with tones of green that range from deep olive to bright yellow-green. This vibrant oil sketch radiates peace, and the majesty of the trees with their cascading branches is particularly beautiful.

Estimate: $20,000 - $30,000

All prices are in Canadian Dollars

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