Artwork by Peter Clapham Sheppard,  The General Store

P.C. Sheppard
The General Store

oil on canvas
signed lower right
29 x 40 ins ( 73.7 x 101.6 cms )

Auction Estimate: $35,000.00$25,000.00 - $35,000.00

Price Realized $31,200.00
Sale date: June 9th 2021

Private Collection, Ontario
A Toronto native, Peter Clapham Sheppard found his artistic inspiration in a broad range of subject matter, including landscapes, portraits, still lifes, city and harbour scenes. The painter bore witness to the steady construction and urbanization that took place in Canadian and American cities during the first half of the twentieth century, which inspired much of his artistic oeuvre. In this regard, Sheppard saw himself as best aligned with the contemporaneous American society of artists known as the Eight, and later the Ashcan School, rather than Canadian art movements of the time.

A documentarian of sorts, Sheppard recorded scenes of daily life which are largely extinct today. In “The General Store”, we see a wooden building on a body of water that presumably functions as a mill and a general store. In the lower right corner is a pair of horses pulling a cart. Executed in a bright colour palette, Sheppard employed his impressionistic treatment of light, favouring blues, greens and violets delineating the long shadows cast by the setting afternoon sun. This luminous and charming oil painting serves as a snapshot into a past era, prior to the urbanization that swept through Canada and Sheppard’s surrounding environment.

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Peter Clapham Sheppard
(1882 - 1965) OSA, RCA

Peter Clapham Sheppard was born in Toronto on October 21, 1881. He apprenticed at engraving houses such as at Rolph, Clark, Stone Ltd. in Toronto, where he became a highly skilled lithographer. He received his art training at the Central Ontario School of Art and Design and the Ontario College of Art under George Reid, John William Beatty, and William Cruickshank. Between 1912 and 1914, he obtained nine Honours Diplomas for for painting and drawing and was awarded the Sir Edmund Walker Scholarship and the Stone Scholarship (Life Classes).

After 1912, Sheppard travelled extensively throughout Europe and the United States. He was elected a member of the Ontario Society of Artists in 1918 and an Associate of the Royal Canadian Academy in 1929. His works were shown in many of the annual R.C.A., O.S.A. and C.N.E. exhibitions, along side works by Tom Thomson, Frederick Varley and J.E.H. MacDonald. His artworks were also included in The British Empire Exhibition, Wembley 1925, L’Exposition D’Art Canadien, Paris 1927, The Exhibition of Contemporary Canadian Painting (Southern Dominions) 1936 and The World’s Fair, New York 1939. Sheppard’s work is held in collections including the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Canadian War Museum and the National Gallery of Canada.

In 2010, Sheppard’s works were prominently featured in the “Defiant Spirits” exhibition at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection in Kleinburg, Ontario, curated by noted Canadian author Ross King. Powerful images such as “The Building of the Bloor Street Viaduct (1916)”, “Toronto Gasworks, (1912)” and “The Engine Home, (1919)” attested to Sheppard’s unchronicled contribution to modernism and to the city of Toronto in the formative years of its art history. P.C. Sheppard’s artwork is visible at the thirty-three second mark within this “Group of Seven: Defiant Sprits Exhibition” video -

(Source: The Estate of the Artist)