Canadian Fine Art
November 13 — 18, 2021
Auction begins to close at 7:00 pm ET
PETER CLAPHAM SHEPPARD, O.S.A., R.C.A.
Private Collection, Ontario
Royal Canadian Academy of Arts Exhibition, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Montreal, QB
Sheppard’s work in the last 20 years of his life is often written about as a sort of retirement.
His biographer Tom Smart noted that “Sheppard’s most innovative years were behind him. He painted for the pleasure of it…[he] went to a creative place where he could satisfy whatever inner compulsion he still had to express himself, and which gave him the means to indulge in his habit: painting outdoors and in his studio.” While “Late October” is most definitely an image out of step with the modernist churn of its time—the clamorous 50s—what we are witnessing is the aggregation of one man’s career. Painting need not always take its cues from the zeal of youth. Like any other pursuit, it is the cumulative effect that equates to true mastery—all of the tiny untranslatable lessons that take years to learn, one brushstroke at a time, slowly stacking up in an artist’s painterly arsenal. One is reminded of the great masters of European art— active neither in the salons nor the streets, but content to continue to pursue their craft with grace and subtlety from a perch further down the road. That might be the perfect metaphor for this painting: there is rain, but the painter now knows how to weather it, unhurried at his easel.
Tom Smart, Peter Clapham Sheppard: His Life and Work (Firefly Books: Toronto), 225.
Very good condition.
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