Lot #6

P.C. Sheppard
Edge of Town

oil on board
signed lower right; titled and inscribed “sketch for canvas” on the reverse
13 x 16 ins ( 33 x 40.6 cms )

Sold for $2,760.00
Sale date: May 25th 2017

Provenance:
Private Collection, Ontario
Evoking the imagery of historic Toronto's peripheral communities, such as Earl's Court, the humble homes on their sloping property lines are given a grand presence with the long shadows cast by the low setting sun. Sheppard, a master of contrast while maintaining weightless quality to his compositions, employs impressionistic handling of the pigments and selecting non traditional colour palettes to represent light and shadow. Within each stroke of paint, layers of blue, violet and rose can be seen within the shadows of the homes and neighbouring structures countering the traditional use of heavy blacks and browns to capture the effects of light and atmosphere.

Often likened to the techniques of the Group of Seven, Sheppard was a pioneer in Canadian impressionism, often turning to Toronto's urban and rural landscapes with a particular preoccupation with human presence within the landscape. He often represented this with tokens of everyday life – a humble home, bails of hay formed by farm hands, or the mechanisms and structures of Toronto's vital harbour. Within this work, Sheppard leaves the viewer with an insight into a history since past, the beginnings of a burgeoning city, and a weightless depiction of a grandiose achievement of man and industry.

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Peter Clapham Sheppard
(1882 - 1965) OSA, RCA

Peter Clapham Sheppard was born in Toronto on October 21, 1881. He apprenticed at engraving houses such as at Rolph, Clark, Stone Ltd. in Toronto, where he became a highly skilled lithographer. He received his art training at the Central Ontario School of Art and Design and the Ontario College of Art under George Reid, John William Beatty, and William Cruickshank. Between 1912 and 1914, he obtained nine Honours Diplomas for for painting and drawing and was awarded the Sir Edmund Walker Scholarship and the Stone Scholarship (Life Classes).

After 1912, Sheppard travelled extensively throughout Europe and the United States. He was elected a member of the Ontario Society of Artists in 1918 and an Associate of the Royal Canadian Academy in 1929. His works were shown in many of the annual R.C.A., O.S.A. and C.N.E. exhibitions, along side works by Tom Thomson, Frederick Varley and J.E.H. MacDonald. His artworks were also included in The British Empire Exhibition, Wembley 1925, L’Exposition D’Art Canadien, Paris 1927, The Exhibition of Contemporary Canadian Painting (Southern Dominions) 1936 and The World’s Fair, New York 1939. Sheppard’s work is held in collections including the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Canadian War Museum and the National Gallery of Canada.

In 2010, Sheppard’s works were prominently featured in the “Defiant Spirits” exhibition at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection in Kleinburg, Ontario, curated by noted Canadian author Ross King. Powerful images such as “The Building of the Bloor Street Viaduct (1916)”, “Toronto Gasworks, (1912)” and “The Engine Home, (1919)” attested to Sheppard’s unchronicled contribution to modernism and to the city of Toronto in the formative years of its art history. P.C. Sheppard’s artwork is visible at the thirty-three second mark within this “Group of Seven: Defiant Sprits Exhibition” video - http://goo.gl/FS4C7x

(Source: The Estate of the Artist)