Artwork by John Alfsen,  Portrait of Paul Duval, 1961

John Alfsen
Portrait of Paul Duval, 1961

oil on canvas board
signed, titled and inscribed “Painted in Studio #1 of the Studio Building in 1961” on the reverse; unframed
24 x 18 ins ( 61 x 45.7 cms )

Sold for $708.00
Sale date: January 28th 2020

Provenance:
Collection of Paul Duval, Toronto

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John Alfsen
(1902 - 1971)

Born at Alpene, Michigan, U.S.A., he came to Canada in 1913 and settled in Toronto, Ontario. He studied at the Ontario College of Art under Arthur Lismer, Frederick Varley and others; Académie Beaux-Arts, Antwerp; Académie Grande Chaumière, Paris and studied sculpture under Bourdelle. In the United States he attended the Art Students’ League, New York, under Kenneth Hayes Miller.

A painter of portraits, figures, compositions, landscapes and nudes he was also an instructor of Drawing and Painting at the Ontario College of Art. From 1925 to 1929 he had travelled in Belgium, France, and Italy.

Paul Duval in his ‘Canadian Drawings and Prints’ tells us of his achievements as a graphic artist “ . . . The day-to-day life of the ordinary man on the street captured the attention of draughtsmen Louis Muhlstock and John Alfsen. The graphic portrayals of humanity by these two artists encouraged an increasing number to focus their attention on the activities of their fellow citizens . . .” Alfsen’s chalk drawing entitled “Equestrian” also appeared in this book and bears out Graham McInnes’ notation of his “ . . . solidly painted compositions . . .” His painting “Miss Leatross (Cassandra)” was exhibited at the First Biennial Exhibition of Canadian Painting in 1955.

Alfsen was a member of the Ontario Society of Artists (1937); Royal Canadian Academy of Arts (R.C.A.) and the Canadian Society of Graphic Art. He lived at Markham, Ontario.

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