Artwork by Robert Wakeham Pilot,  Lunenburg, Nova Scotia

Robert Pilot
Lunenburg, Nova Scotia

oil on board
signed and dated 1927 lower left
12.25 x 17 ins ( 31.1 x 43.2 cms )

Auction Estimate: $8,000.00$6,000.00 - $8,000.00

Price Realized $10,800.00
Sale date: December 3rd 2020

The Estate of Walter and Dora Hislop
Private Collection, Toronto
Robert W. Pilot Retrospective Exhibition, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, travelling to the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa and the Art Gallery of Hamilton, November 1968 - February 1969, no. 92 (as “The Dockyard, Lunenberg, Nova Scotia”)
Robert W. Pilot Retrospective Exhibition, exhibition catalogue, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, 1968, reproduced, no. 92 (as “The Dockyard, Lunenberg, Nova Scotia”)
Born in St. John’s, Newfoundland, Robert Pilot often returned to Atlantic Canada on sketching trips. Known for his Impressionist inspired landscapes of the Lower St. Lawrence region and the shores of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, the artist has captured the charm of Lunenburg Harbour in this composition. The figures working on the dock are dwarfed by the elegant schooners, while the dappled light on the water and pastel blue sky exemplify the artist’s deft hand at creating a harmonious play of light and colour. Pilot has evoked the character of this small town nestled on the shores of Nova Scotia - a UNESCO World Heritage Site and picturesque locale.

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.