EDWARD JOHN HUGHES, R.C.A.
ABOVE REVELSTOKE, B.C.
oil on canvas
signed and dated 1963
32 ins x 48 ins; 80 cms x 120 cms
In 1963, Hughes received a second Canada Council grant. Ian Thom writes: “The sketching trips that Hughes made with the support of the Canada Council took him and his wife throughout the interior of British Columbia…”In his travels, Hughes came upon the marvelous panorama that is Revelstoke. This depiction of the British Columbia locale is especially captivating as it illustrates the landscape from a bird’s eye view; the delicately composed town below is a stunning contrast to the wild nature of the mountainous region across the water. There is a consistent, meticulous manner in which Hughes constructs his composition; the perfect lines of the architectural features of the town, the soft lines of vegetation, ripples in the winding water and delicately defined snow-capped mountains attest to the artist’s skill in depicting an impressive variety of surfaces in a signature, large-scale composition.
In his discussion of another view of Revelstoke entitled “Eagle Pass at Revelstoke, 1961”, Thom notes how “the contrast between the relatively busy foreground and the mountains in the background was [for Hughes] a challenge.” In a letter to the artist dated March 9th, 1962, art dealer Dr. Max Stern suggests that he “not close up the landscape…but let the eye of the onlooker travel into the distance, which you always render so beautifully.” A vast, impressive landscape is precisely what Hughes achieves in “Above Revelstoke, B.C”.
Ian M. Thom, “E.J. Hughes”, Vancouver, 2002, pages 144, 155-156 and 169, illustrated in colour for another view entitled “Eagle Pass at Revelstoke, 1961” (collection of the Vancouver Club).
Jacques Barbeau, “A Journey with E.J. Hughes: One Collector’s Odyssey”, Vancouver/Toronto, 2005, pages 61-63, #’s 39 and 42 for the artist’s pencil studies for “Eagle Pass at Revelstoke” (both in the Jacques Barbeau Foundation Collection).
Dominion Gallery, Montreal.
Private Collection, Europe.