Joyner’s Canadian Art Auction

May 25, 2012

LOT 115

Lot 115


Lot 115 Details


watercolour, heightened with white
signed with initials and dated /66
19 ins x 25 ins; 47.5 cms x 62.5 cms

Estimate $35,000-$40,000

Realised: $35,400
Price Includes Buyer's Premium ?

Lot Report


The Isaacs Gallery, Toronto.
Private Collection, Toronto.


Patricia Morley, Kurelek: A Biography, Toronto, 1986, pages 165-169 and 188.


“St. Benedict’s Farm, Combermere, Ontario” is a rare, large-sized work on paper by William Kurelek, the setting an important one for the artist. In Patricia Morley’s 1986 biography of the artist, the author notes that “it had been Bill’s custom, since his conversion [to Roman Catholicism], to seek periodic retreat…In the winter of 1962-63 Bill found his way to Madonna House near Combermere, in the Madawaska Valley northwest of Ottawa”, where “his idealistic temperament craved a religious community he could admire without reserve”. Morley writes that Kurelek’s “first visit told him that something of great significance in his life had occurred” and Madonna House and the surrounding area made appearances in a selection of the artist’s works through the 1960s and 70s.

“St. Benedict’s Farm, Combermere, Ontario” depicts St. Benedict’s Acres, the farm where food was raised for the members and visitors to Madonna House. Madonna House and the region profoundly affected William Kurelek, leading the artist to purchase a farmhouse in Combermere in 1971. Speaking to the painter’s strong connection to the community and its inhabitants, while searching for a home to purchase in the area, Kurelek’s “single proviso was that the property should be no further than thirty-five miles from Madonna House.”


For condition information please contact the specialist.

LOT 115

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.