LOT 205

1885 - 1969

Rocky Shore Pine
oil on board
signed with stamped signature and on verso signed, titled, dated 1930, inscribed "Georgian Bay" and stamped with the estate stamp
9 1/4 x 12 1/4 in, 23.5 x 31.1 cm

Estimate: $30,000 - $50,000 CAD

Sold for: $31,250

Preview at:

Estate of the Artist
The Collection of Torben V. Kristiansen, Vancouver

Rocky Shore Pine is a striking example of Arthur Lismer’s visual skill. The oil sketch, done in the Georgian Bay region of Lake Huron, clearly demonstrates Lismer’s quick, decisive approach and enormous confidence as a painter. Rocky Shore Pine is a compelling vision of this region of Ontario. The composition is introduced by the tiny rocky shore at the left of the image. Topped by the rapidly delineated pine of the title, these foreground elements introduce the viewer to the majestic scene beyond by stretching upward so the top of the pine overlaps the major stony shoreline across the water. The foreground pine is strongly misshapen, suggesting the struggle against the winds of the region that have governed its growth.

The fact that Lismer chose to make an impressive stone massif the main subject of his painting demonstrates the attitude of the Group of Seven towards the actual landscape of Canada. There was no need for any hint of human activity; rather, Lismer rejoices in the roughness of the landscape forms themselves. The large, rocky planes of the cliff that dominates the middle ground are richly varied in colour; Lismer includes greys, greens, orange and blue to animate the surface and suggest the complexity of the form. A small group of trees enlivens the image at the left, and individual trees punctuate the upper edge of the rock formation. Above, clouds scud across the blue sky. This active sky provides a counterbalance to the active surface of the lake below. Lismer revels in this sunlit landscape, untouched by human presence.

This willingness to depict the Canadian landscape devoid of humans was an important element of the Group’s approach to painting. Their work allowed an expression of Canadian identity through an appreciation of the beauty of the unpeopled landscape of this country. Lismer and the other members of the Group had a willingness and desire to celebrate the landscape itself. This shift in attitude was critical to their success and changed the history of Canadian painting.

For the biography on Torben V. Kristiansen in PDF format, please click here.

Estimate: $30,000 - $50,000 CAD

All prices are in Canadian Dollars

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