Price Realized: $
Date: 1943
Artist: David Brown Milne
Medium: watercolour on paper
Dimensions: 14.5 x 17.25 in. (36.8 x 43.8 cm)

Exhibited: Hart House Ajax, University of Toronto (March 1947); “Thirty Paintings by David Milne”, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa (May 2-13, 1947)

Provenance: Former collection of the late J. R. Shaw, Calgary AB; Masters Gallery, Calgary AB; Douglas Udell Gallery, Edmonton AB

Literature: “Painting Place: The Life and Work of David B. Milne” (David P. Silcox; University of Toronto Press; 1996); “David Milne” (Ian M. Thom; Douglas & McIntyre Ltd.; 1991)

In 1937, after taking a 12 year break from the medium, David Milne once again began to work in watercolours, and they would dominate his body of work during the final years of his career. Milne reduced his scenes with delicate precision, guided by what he described as “aesthetic emotion’. Where his Group of Seven contemporaries were bold and expressive, drawing strength and influence from the Group, Milne’s work was quiet and introspective – almost austere – and defied categorization. Often described as reclusive, for Milne, art and life were integrally interconnected, and he compulsively viewed the natural world around him from the lens of an artist. Though Milne had gained a love of nature at an early age, the subjects of his paintings were secondary to his artistic impression, and to the works themselves. David Milne was incredibly insightful and adept at expressing his internal process, which we glimpse in this 1936 quote:

“Do you like flowers? So do I, but I never paint them. I didn’t even see the hepaticas. I saw, instead, an arrangement of the lines, spaces, hues, values and relations that I habitually use. That is, I saw one of my own pictures, a little different from ones done before, changed slightly, very slightly, by what I saw before me.'”

LOT: 40

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