Artwork by Arthur Lismer,  Seascape

Arthur Lismer

oil on board
signed lower left
15 x 18 ins ( 38.1 x 45.7 cms )

Sold for $29,900.00
Sale date: November 22nd 2016

L’Art Galerie d’Art Yvon Desgagnés, Baie Saint-Paul
Joyner Canadian Fine Art, auction, Toronto, December 4, 2001, lot 129
Private Collection, Calgary
Arthur Lismer was enchanted by the sea and its shorelines more than any other Group of Seven member. Sketches and paintings of both Canadian coasts were a favourite subject from his early days as an artist into his late career. Lismer lived in Nova Scotia from 1916-1919, where he depicted Halifax harbour scenes with military vessels from the First World War. He also painted dreamy seascapes with dramatic sky and cloud formations, recalling his studies of John Constable and the Romanticists. Yet Lismer always added his own modern and expressive approach in his thick brushstrokes of vibrant colour. As fellow artist Harold Beament remarked on this style: “There was a controlled rowdiness in Lismer, a roughness. His turbulence showed through his training.”

The Pacific coast immediately became a source of inspiration in 1951, when Lismer and his wife took a trip to Vancouver Island. They would return every summer for the rest of his life, where they stayed at a small cottage near a bay in Long Beach. The lush vegetation and shorelines provided a new landscape for Lismer to paint and show his endless admiration for the Canadian wilderness. In “Seascape”, Lismer’s characteristic vigorous paint application fills the entire picture. He evokes a day of violent winds and white-capped waves. The cerulean blue ocean exemplifies another of Lismer’s mode of expression - the jewel-toned blues and greens used in his skies, forests and bodies of water.

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Arthur Lismer
(1885 - 1969) Group of Seven, OSA, RCA

Arthur Lismer was born in Sheffield, England in 1885. He apprenticed there as an engraver for seven years. During his apprenticeship, at the age of 15, he became an illustrator for the Sheffield Independent. He studied at the Sheffield School of Art (1898 - 1905) and in Belgium at the Antwerp Academy (1906-07). Lismer came to Canada in 1911 where he was employed as an engraver at David Smith and Co. in Toronto. He later moved to the Grip company where he met other future members of the Group of Seven. He first visited Georgian Bay in 1913 and in 1914 made the trip again with Tom Thomson. He became one of the founding members of the Group in 1920. Lismer taught at the Ontario College of Art from 1915 and was principal at the Nova Scotia College of Art, Halifax from 1916 to 1919. He returned to Toronto to become vice principal of the Ontario College of Art from 1920 to 1927. He was involved in education at the National Gallery of Canada and later taught at McGill University. He painted landscape in northern Ontario, Nova Scotia, the St. Lawrence, the Gaspe, Newfoundland, and the Rocky Mountains. In his later years he exhibited at the Dominion Gallery.