LOT 127

1873 - 1932

Mt. Odaray
oil on board
initialed and on verso signed, titled, inscribed "Sketch for Dark Autumn" / "Rocky Mt." / "#6263" / indistinctly and variously and estate stamp embossed
8 1/2 x 10 1/2 in, 21.6 x 26.7 cm

Estimate: $60,000 - $80,000

Sold for: $67,250

Preview at: Heffel Toronto – 13 Hazelton Ave

Collection of Mr. and Mrs. William P. Wilder, Toronto

Paul Duval, The Tangled Garden: The Art of J.E.H. MacDonald, 1978, the 1930 canvas of the same view of Odaray Mountain entitled Dark Autumn, Rocky Mountains, collection of the National Gallery of Canada, reproduced page 161, listed, unpaginated
Lisa Christensen, The Lake O’Hara Art of J.E.H. MacDonald and Hiker’s Guide, 2003, page 108

J.E.H. MacDonald took his first trip to the Rocky Mountains in 1924, and he returned every summer until 1930. MacDonald was a poet at heart, and the mountains delighted his imagination and gave him peace and joy as he hiked and sketched. An entry in his journal notes this location: “I sketched [the] effect of coloured rocks and snow on Odaray. If enlarging, try for brighter snow and more luminosity in shadows although very dark.” MacDonald did enlarge the view into a magnificent canvas, which is in the collection of the National Gallery of Canada.

This dramatic peak is in alpine country with only lichens, low-growing plants and scrubby trees growing in the vicinity, giving the artist an unobstructed view. MacDonald’s Rocky Mountain paintings are noted for their flat divisions of spatial design and hard-edged clarity. Here he captures Odaray’s sculpted grandeur from a high vantage point, depicting the distinctive square peak and vertical grooves carved by the passage of glaciers. Thunderous cloud formations crowding up behind the mountain add to the drama of the scene. Mt. Odaray is a superb sketch that captures the lofty beauty and intensity of this sublime mountain.

For the biography on Mr. and Mrs. William P. Wilder in PDF format please click here.

Estimate: $60,000 - $80,000

All prices are in Canadian Dollars

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