Artwork by William Edward de Garthe,  Two Boats in the Harbour

William de Garthe
Two Boats in the Harbour

oil on canvas board
signed lower left
7 x 9 ins ( 17.8 x 22.9 cms )

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Private Collection, Québec

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William Edward de Garthe
(1907 - 1983)

Born in Finland, he studied art in Helsingfors before coming to Canada in 1926. He entered the field of commercial art and continued to study fine art at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and, also under Edmond Dyonnet at various times. He moved to Nova Scotia in 1945. Then he studied at the Mount Allison University at Sackville, N.B. under Stanley Royle and later at Rockport, Mass., U.S.A.; East Gloucester, Mass., U.S.A.; Art Students’ League, N.Y., U.S.A.; Academi Del Belle Arti, Rome, Italy; Académie de la Grande Chaumière, Paris, France; Académie Julian, Paris, France.

As a painter he was influenced by the French Impressionists, Stanley Woodward, Emile Gruppe, Edward Saego, Salvador Dali, Fredric Waugh and others. His subjects include figures, especially at work or in action, ships, and sheds. Harold Poitras, writing in the Montreal Star described his work in these words, “. . . Unlike abstract paintings, his works depict definite topics with a true atmosphere of seagulls, grassy marsh, winding paths, pounding surf on windswept shore, stilted fishing sheds, sturdy fishermen and wooden sloops . . .”

In 1958 he exhibited 138 of his works at the Halifax Memorial Library an exhibit which was sponsored by the Nova Scotia Museum of Fine Arts on the occasion of its 50th Anniversary. In the fall of 1959, 100 of his paintings were exhibited at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal. Forty of these scenes were of the West Indies and sixty of Nova Scotia. His painting “Approaching Storm” was chosen the most popular in 1959 Maritime Art exhibition held in the Beaverbrook Art Gallery, Frederiction. In 1963 he completed two murals for St. John’s Anglican Church at Peggy’s Cove. One mural represents peace and serenity “the Lord”, and the other the turbulence and storm surrounding four men in a fishing boat at sea.

De Garthe’s paintings have also been shown in Toronto at the Studio Showcase Limited, Thorncliff Plaza, Leslieville. He was a member of International Institute of Arts and Letters, Zurich, Switzerland; Nova Scotia Society of Artists; Montreal Independent Art Society; and Maritime Art Association. He is represented in the Nova Scotia Museum of Fine Arts and lived at Peggy’s Cove, N.S.

Source: "A Dictionary of Canadian Artists, Volume I: A-F", compiled by Colin S. MacDonald, Canadian Paperbacks Publishing Ltd, Ottawa, 1977