Artwork by William Goodridge Roberts,  Nursery Fantasy No.1

William G. Roberts
Nursery Fantasy No.1

pencil and gouache
signed lower right; titled and dated 1945 on an exhibition label on the reverse
22 x 28.75 ins ( 55.9 x 73 cms ) ( sight )

Auction Estimate: $3,000.00$2,000.00 - $3,000.00

Price Realized $3,840.00
Sale date: July 20th 2021

Collection of the artist’s family
Art Association of Montreal, Spring Exhibition, 1945
Goodridge Roberts: A Retrospective Exhbition, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, 1969-70
Goodridge Roberts: 1904-1974, McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Kleinburg, 1998-99
James Borcoman, “Goodridge Roberts: A Retrospective Exhibition”, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, 1969, reproduced
Sandra Paikowsky, “Goodridge Roberts 1904 - 1974”, McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Kleinburg, 1998, reproduced page 109
Sandra Paikowsky’s 1998 exhibition catalogue which accompanied the retrospective at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection in Kleinburg reproduced this artwork and noted below it:

“Roberts almost never exhibited publicly his cartoon-like drawings, although this work was shown to great critical approval in the Art Association of Montreal’s 1945 Spring Show. Drawings of this type were often done for the amusement of his cousins, the MacDonald children.”

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William Goodridge Roberts
(1904 - 1974) Canadian Group of Painters, RCA

Roberts was born in Barbados in 1904 to a prominent Canadian literary family. His father, Theodore, was a poet, novelist, and journalist. Roberts began his studies at Montreal's Ecole des Beaux-Arts but, encouraged by his art-critic aunt, Mary Fanton Roberts, he enrolled at New York's Art Students League. His New York schooling would prove to be a major influence on his career.

During the 1930s, Roberts lived, painted, and taught in Ontario. He was the very first artist-in-residence at Queens University in Kingston. Refusing to incorporate nationalist content into his work, Roberts became recognized for his modernist approach. In the 1940s, Roberts moved to Montreal and continued painting and teaching. He was admired by Quebec's francophone art community who saw in his work a reflection of the modernist figurative tradition from France, known in Montreal as "living art." His works were equally divided into the themes of landscapes, portraits and still lifes; all are textbook examples of each style. The artist's last major retrospective was held at the National Gallery of Canada in 1969. He died in January 1974.