Artwork by Frederick Nicholas Loveroff,  York Mills

Frederick Nicholas Loveroff
York Mills

oil on board
signed lower left; signed and titled on the reverse
8.5 x 10.5 ins ( 21.6 x 26.7 cms )

Sold for $4,012.00
Sale date: November 19th 2019

Private Collection, Ontario
Possibly the work exhibited at the Royal Canadian Academy in 1925, recorded as “York Mills”, no. 135
Kevin Forrest, The Paintings of Frederick Nicholas Loveroff, Norman Mackenzie Art Gallery, Regina, 1981, pages 13 and 17
In 1924 Loveroff participated in the British Empire Exhibition at Wembley, including a work entitled “Snow on the Hillside”, circa 1919, that won him notoriety when the Leicester City Art Gallery purchased the painting. According to Michael Parke-Taylor, there is only one small pencil and tempera sketch known in relation to “Snow on the Hillside”. “Sketch for Snow on the Hillside” (Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Lloyd A. Loveroff) acts as a preparatory work for the canvas, exhibiting the artist’s initial attempt to capture the effects of sunlight and shade on snow. Loveroff was a keen observer of the landscape and as one Scottish critic noted after the Wembley exhibition, “His solid tree trunks are actualities, and so is the snow in his wood interior, which is as true as the sunlight and shadow on the snow in his Hillside”.

“York Mills” is markedly similar to “Snow on the Hillside” and appears to be another preparatory work undertaken for the canvas, having been possibly exhibited in 1924 at the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts exhibition. This work shares Loveroff’s attention to the atmospheric conditions, which is a stylistic adaptation of the Impressionist practice brought home to Canada by the Montreal artists, Maurice Cullen and Marc-Aurèle de Foy Suzor-Coté, both of whom Loveroff would have been aware. “York Mills” depicts Loveroff’s study of this landscape at various hours of the day, expressing the fleeting light of day and shifting temperature through the violet hues of the sky and the frozen crispness of the snow.

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Frederick Nicholas Loveroff
(1890 - 1959) OSA ARCA

Born in Tiflis, Russia, his mother died when he was very young. His father brought him to Canada in 1900 and they settled in Saskatchewan. They were “Independent” Doukhobors as distinguished from “Community” Doukhobors. The Loveroffs spent their first winter in an excavation in the west bank of the Saskatchewan River near Petrofka Bridge, twenty-five miles west of Rosthern. From 1903 to 1906 Fred Loveroff attended school at Moylan, Pennsylvania, under the auspices of the Society of Quakers. His father was a farmer and when Fred was old enough he secured his own homestead near Borden, Saskatchewan.

During the long winter nights on the homestead he began to dabble in watercolours probably to relieve the boredom and loneliness. It was one of these watercolours that Col. Perrett, Principal of the Normal School at Regina, saw and decided to interest D.A. Dunlop (Toronto mining magnate) in sponsoring the young man’s art education. In 1913 at the age of nineteen, Fred Loveroff enrolled in the Central Ontario School of Art where he studied for the next four years under G.A. Reid, J.W. Beatty, J.E.H. MacDonald and possibly W. Cruikshank. He received his A.O.C.A. in 1917. Soon his paintings were to be seen at exhibitions of the Ontario Society of Artists. His “A Winter Landscape” shown with this society was reproduced in the Canadian Magazine of December 1919 also his “Winter Landscape” exhibited with the Royal Canadian Academy appeared in the Canadian Magazine of June 1920. In November of 1920 he was elected an Associate of the Royal Canadian Academy. During the relatively short period of his painting career, 1918-1934, he enjoyed the satisfaction of knowing that his paintings were being appreciated.

Describing his work in The Canadian Collector Peter Millard noted, “Loveroff’s paintings are best considered in two groups, firstly the finished studio paintings and secondly the little oil sketches, many of which were probably intended merely as preliminary studies. I have not been able to examine many pictures of the first kind, but those I have seen are crisp, strong landscapes whose chief delight is in their Impressionist colouring. Shadows, which at first sight seem merely darker in tone, on closer examination yield up rich and extraordinary colour… In addition to the more formal pictures, Loveroff has left behind him a large number of small oil sketches, now preserved in one collection in Saskatoon. Seldom dated and often unsigned, they apparently represent his entire painting career, brief as it was.”

It was during the Depression that the market for his paintings declined sharply, as did the market of just about every other commodity not directly connected with survival. Loveroff, it was thought, rather than making greater effort to sell his paintings (probably for a lot less than their worth) stowed them in an attic. It is also believed because the situation became hopeless, he departed for California in 1934 once again to make his living as a farmer. It is believed that he never took up his brushes again. He died in 1960 at the age of sixty-six after a rapidly failing health. In his early work he was influenced by J. W. Beatty then Maurice Cullen. Loveroff travelled through the territory between Winnipeg and Norway House with Indians by trail and canoe and many of his small sketches are of forest and lake areas while others include farm buildings, people in streets and city houses in winter. One of the highlights of his career no doubt was the acceptance of his painting “Snow on the Hillside” by the Leicester City Art Gallery, England, after the painting had been exhibited at the Wembley show of 1924. He is represented in the permanent collections of the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; Hart House, U. of T.; Art Gallery of Ontario and elsewhere.

Source: "A Dictionary of Canadian Artists, Volume II”, compiled by Colin S. MacDonald, Canadian Paperbacks Publishing Ltd, Ottawa, 1979