PAUL PEEL, R.C.A.
Private Collection, Toronto
According to Victoria Baker, Paul Peel scholar, this diminutive work corresponds in style, mood and subject to the series of outdoor oil studies Paul Peel produced during a trip to Quebec City in September 1890 in the company of his sister, Mildred, and the painter, Florence Carlyle. The simple composition of a woman resting or reading on a shore is one he favoured. The woman depicted here may be Mildred, or, given the red hair, possibly Florence Carlyle. Peel provides minimal geographic markers, but a schematically rendered distant shore with a distinctive ferry boat suggests a view towards Lévis, Quebec. However, this painting also recalls some of the outdoors studies he produced in August in and around Toronto. Most of these on-the-spot studies painted by Peel while in Canada - he arrived on July 16 and departed for France on November 2, 1890 - ended up for sale at the public auction of Peel’s work held in October 1890 by Oliver, Coate & Company, Toronto.