Friday, October 23, 2009

Lawren Harris Paintings and Others for Sale in Toronto

St. Patricks Street, Toronto among other famous Canadian paintings on the auction block in November

A stunning private collection of Canadian art worth as much as $8 million is to be auctioned off next month in Toronto, highlighted by Lawren Harris's final oil sketch for his iconic, full-canvas North Shore, Lake Superior - one of the National Gallery of Canada's most treasured paintings.

The collection is being offered from the estate of Helen Band, daughter of late Toronto businessman and arts patron Charles Band. He died in 1969 after acquiring works from major international artists and Canada's own Group of Seven - including his childhood friend, Harris.

Four Harris paintings - including three valued at more than $1 million - are to be sold at a Heffel Fine Art auction on Nov. 26.

The Old Stump, Lake Superior - a sketch version of the identical scene depicted in Harris's famous North Shore, Lake Superior - has a high-end estimate of $2.5 million. Two of his other paintings - Iceberg, Baffin's Bay North and Houses, St. Patrick St. - are each expected to fetch up to $1.6 million. The fourth Harris work, In Buchanan Bay, Ellesmere Island, is valued at between $550,000 and $750,000.

Other notable works among the 15 paintings and sculptures being sold include Frederick Varley's portrait of a reclining woman which is expected to fetch up to $500,000. It is described as "among the very best" creations of Harris's fellow Group of Seven member.

Another Group of Seven "classic," a Lake Superior scene by A.Y. Jackson, is also valued in the $500,000 range.

Twelve works by Harris are among the 37 Canadian paintings that have fetched auction prices of more than $1 million.

Three paintings joined the million-dollar club this year when Emily Carr's Wind in the Treetops ($2.2 million), Tom Thomson's Birches and Cedar, Fall ($1.4 million) and Jean-Paul Riopelle's Jouet ($1.2 million) were sold at a Heffel auction in June.

© Copyright (c) The Montreal Gazette


  1. A painting is a painting, a photoshop image is a digital representation. Photographers can use Photoshop to create an art object which is a photograph; however, a painting is made in the world of materials, has dimension and form and smell and surface texture which can only truly be seen in looking at that painting, that object. A painting put online is a mere trace of the original, like a photo of a painting in an art magazine or history book. The medium needs to be in its original to be experienced, all other is a just ghostly reference. Dawn Dale, artist

  2. A thoughtful comment Dawn. If you would like a follow up letter regarding your personal contribution to art, please check my e-mail address in the right column. fw


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