1881 - 1942
Early Morning, Île d'Orléans
oil on canvas
on verso titled, dated circa 1912 on the gallery label and inscribed "27435"
35 5/8 x 47 1/4 in, 90.5 x 120 cm
Estimate: $20,000 - $30,000 CAD
Sold for: $23,750
A gift from the Artist to his brother Wilfred Gagnon
By descent to the daughter of Wilfred Gagnon
Galerie Walter Klinkhoff Inc., Montreal
Peter and Joanne Brown Collection, Vancouver
Private Collection, Vancouver
Hélène Sicotte and Michèle Grandbois, Clarence Gagnon: Dreaming the Landscape, Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, 2006, page 47
In 1900, artist Horatio Walker invited Clarence Gagnon to visit his studio on Île d’Orléans. It was Gagnon’s first sight of this island in the St. Lawrence River with its “small woods, rustic buildings of French inspiration and villages clustered around silver church spires,” as described by Hélène Sicotte. In this large and impressive painting can be seen an echo of the Barbizon and Hague School painters that influenced Canadian artists at the turn of the twentieth century with their dark palette and depictions of rural working people. Gagnon's use of light is dramatic—earthy brown and green hues are backlit by a radiant pale blue sky, and the foreground glows with warm oranges. Gagnon includes the unique structures of traditional Quebec farms, such as the snake fence and thatch roof. The farmer and his horse and cart exude the peaceful atmosphere of their well-ordered life on Île d’Orléans, and this ambience demonstrates Gagnon’s great warmth of feeling for this charming painting place.
This impressive work spent its first years in the collections of two generations of the Gagnon family.
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