Sunday, April 22, 2012

Gold in a Handbag: Thomson and Varley Paintings Bought at a Garage Sale

Well well. Look what turned up at a garage sale.  The news has been full of this story in the past week, about how someone struck gold and bought a Group of Seven, Varley watercolour,  and this Thomson painting.

Camille Bains, writes in a Canada Press release, about that magical moment of discovery:
"The Maynard's Auctions spokeswoman Kate Bellringer said Friday the landscape believed to be by Thomson — in pale blues, purples and peachy colours — was one of two paintings that an older gentleman brought to her in a shopping bag in January after finding them at the garage sale. 
"When he brought them in he didn't quite know what they were so he was just, you know, `Take it or leave it,' kind of thing and I said I would be happy to look into it for him."flip side of the coin, is of course, the crushing disappointment the person who sold it must have felt when they let such a treasure slip through their hands."

When I read that I sense a certain downplaying of the situation.  For one thing, no "older gentleman," with gold in a handbag, would make his way to a reputable auction house, if he didn't suspect that he had a treasure in his hands.

I did a Google Search for this story and there is no doubt that this is Canada's Art Story of year.  There are 43 articles in Canadian newspapers, from across the country.

The Thomson painting is going under the hammer on May 16th, with Maynard's Contemporary and Canadian Art Auction.

The picture is a magnificent skyscape. The sky has a beautiful application of peach, cream and violet hues, with a necklace of hills and water beneath it. I like the warm cream tones edged by cool blue white clouds.    The paint is generously dolloped onto a piece of plywood. There is no foreground with a branch of tree hanging above, or the presence of land below, which leads to the speculation that it might have been painted from a boat.

Lovely stuff.

Excerpt from the Winnipeg Free Press. Please click here


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