Canadian and International Fine Art

Auction begins to close:
November 30, 2023 at 8:00 pm ET

Online Auction
LOT 48

Lot 48

Frederick Arthur Verner, OSA, ARCA (1836-1928)

Frederick Arthur Verner, OSA, ARCA (1836-1928)
Lot 48 Details
Frederick Arthur Verner, OSA, ARCA (1836-1928), Canadian


oil on canvas
titled and inscribed to stretcher
12 x 20 in — 30.5 x 50.8 cm

Estimate $20,000-$30,000

Realised: $29,520
Price Includes Buyer's Premium ?

Lot Report

Additional Images
Frederick Arthur Verner, OSA, ARCA (1836-1928)
  • Frederick Arthur Verner, OSA, ARCA (1836-1928)
  • Frederick Arthur Verner, OSA, ARCA (1836-1928)
  • Frederick Arthur Verner, OSA, ARCA (1836-1928)
  • Frederick Arthur Verner, OSA, ARCA (1836-1928)
  • Frederick Arthur Verner, OSA, ARCA (1836-1928)

Waddington's Auctioneers, The Mulholland Collection, Toronto, ON, 4 Mar 1982, lot 42;
The Pagurian Collection, Toronto, ON;
Collection of Sir Christopher and Lady Ondaatje


Joan Murray, The Last Buffalo: The Story of Frederick Verner, Painter of the Canadian West (Toronto: Pagurian Press, 1984), 32, repro. col. as Deer Hunting in Muskoka, 1873.


Possibly exhibited at the Ontario Society of Artists, First Exhibition, Toronto, 1873, no. 45 as Deer Hunting, Muskoka.


In May of 1873, Verner exhibited two paintings at Toronto’s Art Union Exhibition, which were equal parts showcase and auction. One was the present “Hunting the Deer, Muskoka,” which was reproduced in the Canadian Illustrated News using a photograph taken by Notman and Fraser, a prominent firm.

Verner remained fascinated by these scenes of men paddling silently over glassy lakes, which allowed him to play to his great skill of capturing the time of day and the effects of light, while also expressing what Henri Cartier-Bresson would later term “the decisive moment.” A military man in his youth, Verner would have understood moments of heightened emotion and danger, and these elements would permeate his art making. Indeed it is the tensions between tranquillity and violence, between silence and noise which animate this deeply cinematic picture. In this, “Hunting the Deer” would pair well with the quiet menace of Alex Colville’s “Pacific” or Joe Talirunili’s “Migration Boat.”

Muskoka would be Verner’s inspiration until he took his first trip west in 1873. Verner did several versions of this scene, making alterations which included changing the paddlers from Indigenous to white, experimenting with different clothing, rearranging the lily pads, or adding or subtracting a second canoe—compare this to the version sold as lot 118 in Waddington’s November 2019 Canadian Fine Art auction—and would enjoy painting the subject of men in canoes for decades subsequently.


Very good overall condition. Craquelure. Planar deformation to canvas. Scattered areas of consolidation.

LOT 48

About Condition Ratings

  • 5 Stars: Excellent - No discernable damage, flaws or imperfections
  • 4 Stars: Very Good - Minor flaws or imperfections visible only under close inspection using specialised instruments or black light
  • 3 Stars: Good - Minor flaws visible upon inspection under standard lighting
  • 2 Stars: Fair - Exhibits flaws or damage that may draw the eye under standard lighting
  • 1 Star: Poor - Flaws or damage immediately apparent under standard lighting (examples: missing components, rips, broken glass, damaged surfaces, etc.)

Note: Condition ratings and condition details are the subjective opinions of our specialists and should be used as a guide only. Waddington’s uses due care when preparing condition details, however, our staff are not professional restorers or conservators. Condition details and reports are not warranties and each lot is sold “as is” in accordance with the buyer’s terms and conditions of sale. In all cases the prospective purchaser is responsible for inspecting the property themselves prior to placing a bid.