Lot #115

Goodridge Roberts
Georgian Bay

oil on board
signed lower right; Roberts Inventory No. 894 on the reverse
20 x 24 ins ( 50.8 x 61 cms )

Sold for $9,200.00
Sale date: November 23rd 2017

Provenance:
Private Collection, Ontario
Literature:
Sandra Paikowsky, Goodridge Roberts 1904 - 1974, McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Kleinburg, 1998, page 157
“Georgian Bay” is exemplary of William Goodridge Roberts' numerous expressive landscape paintings of rural Quebec. The artist had spent his summers of the 1940s painting in a number of different regions of Eastern Canada, including Georgian Bay, Outaouais, the Laurentians, the Eastern Townships and Charlevoix. Roberts was invited by a former student to spend the summer of 1951 at Georgian Bay with his wife Joan. Because of their memorable experience there and Joan’s family ties to Georgian Bay, the couple returned to Ontario almost annually and Georgian Bay became one of the artist’s most recognized landscape sites. Charles Doyon wrote of the silence and solitude of Roberts’ landscapes and if “Georgian Bay seems to be a geographer’s patch-work, Goodridge Roberts has put it back together again in his own way.”

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William Goodridge Roberts
(1904 - 1974) Canadian Group of Painters, RCA

Roberts was born in Barbados in 1904 to a prominent Canadian literary family. His father, Theodore, was a poet, novelist, and journalist. Roberts began his studies at Montreal's Ecole des Beaux-Arts but, encouraged by his art-critic aunt, Mary Fanton Roberts, he enrolled at New York's Art Students League. His New York schooling would prove to be a major influence on his career.

During the 1930s, Roberts lived, painted, and taught in Ontario. He was the very first artist-in-residence at Queens University in Toronto. Refusing to incorporate nationalist content into his work, Roberts became recognized for his modernist approach. In the 1940s, Roberts moved to Montreal and continued painting and teaching. He was admired by Quebec's francophone art community who saw in his work a reflection of the modernist figurative tradition from France, known in Montreal as "living art." His works were equally divided into the themes of landscapes, portraits and still lifes; all are textbook examples of each style. The artist's last major retrospective was held at the National Gallery of Canada in 1969. He died in January 1974.