Fall 2016 - 3rd Session Live auction
Lot # 133
Frederick Horsman Varley
ARCA G7 OSA 1881 - 1969 Canadian
oil on board 1938
signed and on verso stamped with the Varley Inventory #260
12 x 15 in 30.5 x 38.1cm
Acquired directly from the Artist by a Private Collector, Ontario
By descent to the present Private Collection, Ontario
In 1938 on the fourth of July, Frederick Varley received a letter from the Canadian government inviting him on a 12,000-mile journey to Canada’s eastern Arctic that was to begin in just five days’ time. Varley had expressed interest in the North, inspired by Lawren Harris and A.Y. Jackson’s arctic expedition and the vibrant works that had come from it, which he had seen at the Vancouver Art Gallery in 1931. He quickly made arrangements and outfitted himself, boarding the government supply ship the RMS Nascopie in Montreal on July 9. For three months, he would work aboard the ship and sketch and paint from land when he could. He painted sensitive portraits of Inuit people and, among others, this vivid and highly charged landscape depicting a stretch of open water dotted with small bergs. Varley’s wild colour and abstract form speak of long arctic nights when the sun does not set, and the saturated colours are those of an almost surreal landscape. The prow of the Nascopie juts out below our vantage point, anchoring this vivid depiction of the Canadian North.
This work is #260 in the Varley Inventory listing.
Estimate: $70,000 ~ $90,000 CAD
Sold For: $118,000.00 CAD (including buyer's premium)