Lot # 110
Art Canadien, Impressionniste et Moderne Live auction

David Brown Milne
CGP CSGA CSPWC 1882 - 1953 Canadian

Elm Logs
watercolour on paper
signed and dated August 1947 and on verso titled, dated and inscribed "W. 567" and "514" (crossed out)
13 1/2 x 21 pouces  34.3 x 53.3cm

Douglas Duncan Picture Loan Society, Toronto
Acquired by Sheila Keiran from Art Rental Service, Art Gallery of Toronto, 1965
Private Collection, Toronto, circa 1978
By descent to a Private Collection, Toronto
Sold sale of Fine Canadian Art, Heffel Fine Art Auction House, May 23, 2007, lot 48
Private Collection, Vancouver

Ian M. Thom, editor, David Milne, Vancouver Art Gallery and McMichael Canadian Art Collection, 1991, essay by François-Marc Gagnon, page 132
David Milne Jr. and David P. Silcox, David B. Milne: Catalogue Raisonné of the Paintings, Volume 2: 1929 - 1953, 1998, reproduced page 918, catalogue #406.120

In Uxbridge, north of Toronto, David Milne did a number of works in 1947 on the subject of the lumbering activities of a sawmill, showing a foreground of logs and sawdust piles with a bank of dark trees in the background. Milne’s depiction of these trees is very simple and gestural - they resemble huge leaves, which, when examined individually with their colourful trunks, are animated and whimsical. Yet looked at together, they form a dark wall of pattern, emphasizing the open and light foreground. Milne is a master of depicting his landscapes with such spare lines and brush-strokes, yet suggesting so much. As Milne wrote, “[The painter] doesn’t try to reproduce the thing before him: he simplifies and eliminates until he knows exactly what stirred him, sets this down in colour and line as simply, and so as powerfully, as possible and so translates his impression into an aesthetic emotion.” Elm Logs, with its velvety blacks and light-filled washes, is a graceful and fluid work that shows Milne’s self-assured mastery of his medium.

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