Artwork by Robert Wakeham Pilot,  Tadoussac Village, Summer

Robert Pilot
Tadoussac Village, Summer

oil on board
signed with initials lower left; signed and titled on the reverse of the board & signed and titled “Summer - Tadoussac, P.Q.” on a label on the reverse
12.75 x 16.75 ins ( 32.4 x 42.5 cms )

Auction Estimate: $9,000.00$7,000.00 - $9,000.00

Price Realized $8,400.00
Sale date: June 1st 2016

Private Collection, Ontario
“Painter Robert Wakeham Pilot Dies At 69”, Montreal Gazette, Dec 19, 1967, page 5
Marc St-Hilaire, “Tadoussac”, The Canadian Encyclopedia, Ottawa, 2009
This painting features a scene from Tadoussac, which is located approximately three hours north of Quebec City along the St Lawrence River. The village has a long and storied past as France's first trading post on the mainland of New France. First European contact to the site was in 1535 by Jacques Cartier, who noted that it was an important seal hunting site for Innu people. By the late seventeenth century, Tadoussac had become the centre of fur trade between the French and First Nations peoples.

During Robert Pilot’s life, the town was a popular travel destination and vacation spot for wealthy Quebecois. Part of its popularity may have been for its perceived health benefits as a rural town. In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, fresh air and time spent outdoors was considered a cure, prescribed by doctors for most modern ailments. “Tadoussac Village, Summer” leads us through history and, with its warmth and gentle brushstrokes, is a reminder of the best of Canadian summers.

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Robert Wakeham Pilot
(1898 - 1967) PRCA

Born in St. John's, Newfoundland, Robert Pilot moved to Montreal in 1910 when his widowed mother married well-known Canadian artist Maurice Cullen. Pilot found he was attracted to the artistic life as he helped his stepfather with chores in the studio and began sketching. He studied figure drawing at the Royal Canadian Academy and learned landscape painting with Cullen. As a student at the Art Association of Montreal, he was recognized as a gifted pupil by instructor William Brymner, who offered instruction to the penniless young artist free of charge on the condition that he would pay the fees when he was able.

After serving overseas in WWI he returned to Montreal and was invited to participate in the first Group of Seven exhibition in 1920. For a time he concentrated on the etching medium, with the desire to develop his own style apart from that of his stepfather. He was given the opportunity to study in Paris with the help of a generous patron and travelled to Paris in 1920. There he studied at the Academie Julian and exhibited in the Paris Salon in 1922. On his return to Canada he was elected an associate of the Royal Canadian Academy. Exhibiting with the RCA gave him more visibility and some of his works were acquired by the National Gallery of Canada. After several successful exhibitions he travelled abroad painting in France, Spain, and North Africa. In addition to oil paintings and etchings he worked in pastel and completed several mural commissions in public buildings. More successful shows followed and he continued to paint, although he served his country once again in WW2. His Canadian impressionist painting style was shaped by his years in France, the influence of his stepfather, Maurice Cullen, and the work of J. W. Morrice, whom he greatly admired. He was elected president of the Royal Canadian Academy in 1952. Pilot died in 1967 and was honored with a retrospective exhibition at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts in 1969.