Lot #79

Edwin Holgate
Morin Heights

oil on panel
signed with initials lower left; signed, titled and dated 1963 on the reverse
8.5 x 10.5 ins ( 21.6 x 26.7 cms )

Provenance:
Private Collection, Calgary
Literature:
Dennis Reid, Edwin H. Holgate, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, 1976, page 22
A highly regarded painter of modernist landscapes and portraits, Edwin Holgate most often found his subjects in the province of Quebec. The artist loved the outdoors and had always been interested in depicting the wilderness of the Laurentians. He built a cabin at Lake Tremblant in 1925, but later sold the property to purchase a nine-acre piece of land in Morin Heights, where he settled with his wife, Frances, in 1946. Holgate continued to exhibit in Montreal until the mid-1950s when he broke off all contact with the art world in order to live an isolated life in the country. Dennis Reid writes that “years of solitary communion with the familiar country around his home brought him to a point of easy intimacy with his subject.” Reid remarks further on Holgate's artistic output following his move: “His small oil sketches...are sure and deft, spontaneous in response, yet resolved, tight works of art. Usually close-in, intimate studies of forest interiors, they are rich in observed detail and exciting colour.” This observation serves as an accurate description of “Morin Heights”, a colourful and dense composition depicting a forest amidst the changing of seasons.

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Edwin Headley Holgate
(1892 - 1977) Group of Seven, RCA

Edwin Holgate was born in Allandale, Ontario. Holgate began his art education at the Art Association of Montreal studying under William Brymner who was also A.Y. Jackson's teacher. In 1920, some of the Brymner graduates found a large building on Beaver Hall Hill in Montreal that could serve as a number of studios. Over the years Holgate continued to be involved with the Beaver Hall Hill group. The artist continued his studies in Paris, returning to Canada at the outbreak of World War I. After the War, the artist returned to Paris with his new bride and remained there until 1922 when they returned to Montreal. Having studied figure painting in France, Holgate began a series of nudes in northern landscapes. Holgate was instrumental in the founding of the Canadian Society of Graphic Artists in 1925 and it was as a graphic artist that he first began to attract wide attention. Asked to join the Group in 1930, Holgate had by then established a reputation for his figure paintings and West Coast and Laurentian landscapes.