Artwork by Robert Wakeham Pilot,  Cottage with Cross, Newfoundland

Robert Pilot
Cottage with Cross, Newfoundland

oil on canvas
signed and dated 1938 lower left
18 x 24 ins ( 45.7 x 61 cms )

Auction Estimate: $40,000.00$30,000.00 - $40,000.00

Price Realized $34,500.00
Sale date: May 31st 2016

Private Collection, Calgary
A.K. Prakash, “Impressionism in Canada: A Journey of Rediscovery”, Stuttgart, 2015, page 621
Born in St. John's, Newfoundland, Robert Pilot moved to Montreal soon after his widowed mother married artist Maurice Cullen in 1910, a fellow Newfoundlander. Pilot became captivated with the studio and work of his stepfather, becoming the young apprentice to the famed artist. Training as an artist in the evenings and frequently accompanying Cullen on sketching trips, Pilot's abilities began to flourish. The sixteen year-old artist's work was included in the annual spring show of the Art Association of Montreal and a year later, Pilot's one-person show at the Johnson Art Galleries in Montreal was a complete sell-out.

The artist often made sketching trips to the Laurentians, Baie St. Paul country, rural Quebec, the Maritimes, and to Newfoundland, capturing the villages and inhabited towns of these areas with their distinct appearances and charm. One of the many parallels shared between Robert Pilot and Maurice Cullen was their periodic return to the province, depicting the villages and people who shared their heritage.

Share this item with your friends

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.