Artwork by Peter Clapham Sheppard,  The Fair
Thumbnail of Artwork by Peter Clapham Sheppard,  The Fair Thumbnail of Artwork by Peter Clapham Sheppard,  The Fair Thumbnail of Artwork by Peter Clapham Sheppard,  The Fair

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Consignor Canadian Fine Art
326 Dundas St West
Toronto ON M5T 1G5
Ph. 1(416)479-9703

Lot #11

P.C. Sheppard
The Fair

oil on canvas
signed lower right
20 x 24 ins ( 50.8 x 61 cms )

Estimated: $6,000.00 - $8,000.00

Private Collection, Ontario
Small Picture Travelling Exhibition, The Ontario Society of Artists, 1959
Ross King, Defiant Spirits: The Modernist Revolution of the Group of Seven, Vancouver/Kleinburg, 2011, page 383
Tom Smart, Peter Clapham Sheppard: His Life and Work, Richmond Hill, Ontario, 2018, pages 196 and 203
A vibrant canvas full of colour and activity, “The Fair” offers a peripheral glimpse into the late afternoon fun and frivolity of a local carnival. One of the artist's recognizable and favourite venues to sketch, the local carnival at Christie Pitts, near the artist's Toronto home, provided the artist with vantages to capture the busyness of the community. For Sheppard, Toronto's pulse was rooted in the people who built the metropolitan urban landscape he was so fascinated with. Author Ross King praises the artist as being “possessed of a visionary approach to the urban landscape.”

A documentarian of sorts, Sheppard captured moments in Toronto's history of everyday people and events important to the fibre of the city. The local fairs and carnivals were well-deserved reprieves from the day to day labour of many Torontonians and were a hive of community fun and connection. “The Fair” acts as a snapshot into history, a time capsule of nostalgia in the urban history of the city.

Executed in a bright palette of colour, Sheppard employed his impressionistic treatment of light, favouring blues and violets delineating the long shadows cast by the setting afternoon sun. The viewers eye moves rapidly over the composition, following the lines of vibrant buntings, awnings and strung up goods for sale, the figures clustered around vendors on the fair grounds, while three planes can be seen shooting up into the sky, presumably part of an airshow spectacle. Tom Smart explains that Sheppard “has distilled an essential quality of the carnival and set it down as an allegory of a slice of Toronto's late-summer life presented as a truthful, universal interpretation of the subject.”
Sale Date: May 28th 2019

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Preview this item at:

Consignor Canadian Fine Art
326 Dundas St West
Toronto ON M5T 1G5
Ph. 1(416)479-9703

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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 -

(Source: The Estate of the Artist)