Artwork by Gertrude Des Clayes,  Barbara, Daughter of F. Pitcher Esq.

Gertrude Des Clayes
Barbara, Daughter of F. Pitcher Esq.

pastel on paper
signed upper right; signed and titled on a label on the reverse
21.5 x 16.25 ins ( 54.6 x 41.3 cms ) ( sheet )

Auction Estimate: $3,500.00$2,500.00 - $3,500.00

Price Realized $2,640.00
Sale date: July 20th 2021

Private Collection, Ontario
Art Association of Montreal, Thirty-Ninth Spring Exhibition, 1922
Barbara Ann Pitcher (1910-1929), daughter of the prominent Pitcher family of Montreal, and student at McGill University, tragically went missing in 1929 at the age of 19. Her body was found two months later, and her death attributed to suicide. Barbara would have been 12 years of age when this portrait was painted.

Barbara’s mother was Harriet Brooks Pitcher, the first Canadian female nuclear physicist, who was involved in research on nuclear transmutations and radioactivity. Harriet worked with Marie Curie in France, and sadly had to give up her academic career when she married Frank Pitcher, a professor of physics at McGill University.

Share this item with your friends

Gertrude Des Clayes
(1879 - 1949) RCA, ARCA

Gertrude Des Clayes was born in Aberdeen, Scotland, in 1879, she studied at the Bushey School of Art, England. She later attended the Academie Julian, in Paris. She returned to Britain and lived in London from 1909 to 1912, where she became a member of the National Portrait Society. She moved to Canada with her sister, Berthe, in 1912. Their younger sister, Alice, also an artist, joined them two years later. They settled in Montreal, setting up a studio in Beaver Hall Square, a favourite haunt of artists and architects. She lived and worked in Montreal for the next 24 years, after which time she returned to Britain. She died in London at the age of 70.

Gertrude Des Clayes worked in oils, watercolour and chalk pastels and was known principally as a portrait
painter. She painted portraits of many prominent people in Montreal in an impressionistic style. She participated in the Spring Exhibitions at the Montreal Museum of Fine Art and the Royal Canadian Academy.

A Dictionary of Canadian Artists,Vol.1, by Colin S. MacDonald, Canadian Paperbacks, Ottawa, Revised and expanded, 1997