Artwork by Helen Galloway McNicoll,  Moored Boat

Helen McNicoll
Moored Boat

oil on canvas
estate stamp on the stretcher
15 x 19 ins ( 38.1 x 48.3 cms )

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

Price Realized $5,750.00
Sale date: June 1st 2021

Private Collection, Toronto
Having trained under William Brymner at the Art Association of Montreal, and studied at the Slade School of Fine Art in London, UK, McNicoll's impressionist style comes through with the segmented brush strokes denoting light and shadow reflecting off of the water's surface in “Moored Boat”. Reference and influence can also be drawn from the work of Mary Cassatt and Berthe Morisot with the artist’s impressionistic style and focus on depicting outdoor scenes. Muted tones of the scene create atmosphere and calm as the boat rests, reflecting its image in the water.

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Helen Galloway McNicoll
(1879 - 1915) ARCA

Born in Toronto, Ontario, the daughter of David McNicholl, a vice-president and director of the Canadian Pacific Railway. She became deaf from the effects of scarlet fever contracted in childhood. Her talent for art was considerable and it was not long before she pursued formal studies in painting. She studied at the Montreal Art Association under William Brymner, then the Slade School of Art, London, England; and under Al. Talmage at St. Ives, Cornwall, England. She won the Jessie Dow Prize in 1908 and the Women’s Art Society prize in 1914. She was elected member of the Royal Society of British Artists in 1913 and, in 1914, became an Associate of the Royal Canadian Academy.

Influenced strongly by the Impressionists, she did landscapes, figure studies, seashore scenes, and genre scenes, especially of the Province of Quebec and France. Much of her work was highlighted by the effects of sunlight. During her lifetime, she made little effort to sell her work because of her independent means, but her paintings have now become very much sought after. Although she lived most of her life in Montreal, she died in Swanage, England, at the age of thirty-five.

She is represented in the collections of The National Gallery of Canada, The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the Beaverbrook Gallery, the Art Gallery of Hamilton, and in many private collections, including Jeno Diener (Tor.), Paul Duval (Tor.), Paul W. Matthews (Tor.), Max Merkur (Tor.), Fred Schaefer (Tor.) and Dr. Marek Rosset (Tor.). In 1925, a memorial exhibition of her work (141 paintings) was held at the Art Association of Montreal. At that time, a small portion of these paintings had been loaned for the exhibit by Mrs. T.A. Trenholme, Hon. C.C. Ballantyne, Lady Van Horne, F.L. Wanklyn, Esq., W.T. Trenholme, Esq., and Miss A. Cleland. In October of 1970, the Granite Club of Toronto held an exhibition of her paintings. This exhibition was organized by Donald S. Potter, general manager, and James Francis, assistant manager of the Granite Club.

Literature Source:
"A Dictionary of Canadian Artists, Volume 4: Little - Myles", compiled by Colin S. MacDonald, Canadian Paperbacks Publishing Ltd, Ottawa, 1978