Canadian Fine Art
November 13 — 18, 2021
Auction begins to close at 7:00 pm ET
ANNE DOUGLAS SAVAGE
Collection of Florence Hecht, Westmount, QC;
By descent to the present owner
The lively green of a rubber plant suggests the new growth of early spring but falling yellow and orange leaves reveal that Anne Savage's “Houses in Westmount, Quebec” was painted in autumn. Savage's subject, a white and grey house, is illuminated by a late afternoon sun that casts a zigzagging gold shadow across the facade. The work is painted in the loose hand of a mature and confident artist. Given the artist’s incredible attention for detail, and bold approach to composition is not surprising that Arthur Lismer once said, ''Give that girl a chance and she would be one of the finest painters in Canada."
Anne Savage's “Houses in Westmount, Quebec” is a unique subject for the artist. While her landscapes painted around the Laurentians and Métis Beach are well-known, urban subjects by the artist are rare and few have been recorded. “Houses in Westmount, Quebec” reveals that Savage was as skilled at capturing a street in Montreal as she was a rural farm, rolling hillside, or sandy shore. One can only speculate why she didn’t paint more.
The subject of a houseplant in front of a window was explored by several of Savage's peers and fellow Beaver Hall Group artists. Nora Collyer, Prudence Heward, Lilias Torrance Newton, Sarah Robertson, and Ethel Seath each produced works that, like Savage's, place a still life in front of a window looking out over urban Montreal scenes. Savage and her coterie of fellow artists combined genres in their paintings, resulting in innovative works that are simultaneously still lifes and street scenes.
Evidence suggests that Savage painted “Houses in Westmount, Quebec” from a second story window in her home on Highland Avenue. The house depicted is one that she would have known well, having lived across the street from it for decades. Despite, or perhaps because of, the familiarity, Anne Savage saw something unique in the view from her window and captured it in this delightfully rich painting.
John Geoghegan is an art historian and curator based in Toronto. He has contributed to publications for the McMichael Canadian Art Collection and the Justina M. Barnicke Gallery.
 Anne McDougall, Anne Savage: The Story of a Canadian Painter. (Harvest House: Montreal, 1977), 12.
Very good condition.
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