Saturday, December 11, 2010
After the Bath by Paul Peel
After the Bath, by Paul Peel was painted in 1890 as an oil on canvas. Its a big work 147x110 cm and belongs to the Government of Ontario.
I first saw this work, while on tour of Parkwoods, the home of RS McLaughlin, the Canadian founder of General Motors in Oshawa, On. I remember it for I was walking down the great staircase and it was hanging on the wall before me.
That would have been before 1972 when it was gifted to the Ontario Government.
The size and power and richness and colour of the work, stopped me in my tracks.
R.S. McLaughlin died that year, so it seems evident that it was bequethed to the government.
Wikepdidia writes that it won a broze medal at the Paris Salon in 1892.
Peel was known for his often sentimental nudes and for his pictures of children; he was among the first Canadian painters to explore the nude as a subject.
The Canadian Art History online archive reports that Paul had two little children, a boy and a girl and that they both posed nude for him and were subjects in several of his works.
While I don't know the journey of this work and how it came to be in the McLaughlin family, the family did have strong connections with the art community. The Art Gallery of Oshawa website, reports that Ewart McLaughlin and his wife Alexandra Luke made donations of work to the Oshawa art gallery, and that Sam McLaughlin's grand daughter, Isabela was a significant artist and a contributor to the gallery and to the arts.
There are far too many holes in this brief internet search for information on this work and I invite readers to contribute to this story.
There is an item on the allexperts website, that reports that the Slack Family of Eastern Ontario came into possession of a work called, "After the Bath" and that they were seeking information on their work. Were the several paintings done on the same theme by Peel?
A copy of the work went on the Christie's auction block in London England on March 18,2008 where it sold for $7.545.
wikipedia link. please click here.
Art history archive. Please click here.
Oshawa Art Gallery. please click here.
Christie's auction information.
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