The Canada Auction Series: Canadian Fine Art

Auction begins to close:
June 01, 2023 at 8:00 pm ET

Online Auction
LOT 28

Lot 28

Alexander Young (A.Y.) Jackson, OSA, RCA (1882-1974), Canadian

Alexander Young (A.Y.) Jackson, OSA, RCA (1882-1974), Canadian
Lot 28 Details
Alexander Young (A.Y.) Jackson, OSA, RCA (1882-1974), Canadian


oil on board
signed; signed, titled and dated "Mar 1946" verso
8 x 10 in — 20.3 x 25.4 cm

Estimate $25,000-$35,000

Lot Report

Additional Images
Alexander Young (A.Y.) Jackson, OSA, RCA (1882-1974), Canadian
  • Alexander Young (A.Y.) Jackson, OSA, RCA (1882-1974), Canadian
  • Alexander Young (A.Y.) Jackson, OSA, RCA (1882-1974), Canadian
  • Alexander Young (A.Y.) Jackson, OSA, RCA (1882-1974), Canadian
  • Alexander Young (A.Y.) Jackson, OSA, RCA (1882-1974), Canadian
  • Alexander Young (A.Y.) Jackson, OSA, RCA (1882-1974), Canadian

The artist, or his niece Naomi Jackson Groves;
By gift to Katherine Brett (née Maw), Toronto, ON;
By descent to the present Private Collection, Aurora, ON


No other Canadian painter conveyed the subtlety of a grey sky quite like A.Y. Jackson. His Group of Seven colleague Lawren S. Harris painted ethereally grey skies in his Arctic sketches and John Hartman painted Wagnerian clouds; yet Jackson’s work ethic and output give his studies deeper resonance.

By 1946 the Group of Seven was long disbanded. The Art Gallery of Toronto (now, Art Gallery of Ontario) was on the brink of mounting major retrospectives of Group members Lawren S. Harris, Arthur Lismer, Frederick H. Varley as well as A.Y. Jackson. Regardless of age and reputation, Jackson persisted with a steady art routine in his mid-60s. In the late winter-early spring he went to Quebec, in the summer it was Georgian Bay and in the fall he travelled west to Alberta, reserving the winter for working up his sketches into finished paintings on canvas. This work and lot 31, St. Urbain, Quebec, both come to market after being held within a family for generations and were first acquired by a personal friend of the artist’s niece Naomi Jackson Groves, an academic and artist in her own right.

Grey Day, St. Tite des Caps expresses the distinct heavy atmosphere of spring as temperatures rise above freezing, rain replaces snow for precipitation, and cold vapour filters the light. Jackson surely and swiftly captured all of this as winter’s blanket of snow recedes, leaving open patches of saturated soil and a deft zigzag of a river in light teal green in the centre that flows out to the right, disappears and reappears in the centre foreground in dark brown and grey moving toward the viewer.

At the 1947 exhibition of Canadian painting and sculpture at the Canadian National Exhibition, Jackson showed a painting titled Grey Day St. Tite Des Caps, for which the present sketch may have been a study.[1] It was certainly of enough importance that it was hand-picked by the artist (or his niece Naomi Jackson Groves) and gifted to first owner and close family friend Katherine Brett and kept in the family’s collection until now.

[1] Catalogue: British Painting, Canadian Painting and Sculpture (exh. cat). (Toronto: Canadian National Exhibition, 1947), no. 150, p. 33, as Grey Day St. Tite Des Caps.


Very good overall condition. Slight bowing to panel.

Please contact the specialist for further condition information.

LOT 28

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.