Artwork by Charles Anthony Law,  Pyramid Mountains

Anthony Law
Pyramid Mountains

oil on board
signed lower right; signed, titled and dated “September 1978” on the reverse
13.25 x 15.75 ins ( 33.7 x 40 cms )

Auction Estimate: $800.00$600.00 - $800.00

Price Realized $2,160.00
Sale date: November 30th 2021

Private Collection, Montreal

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Charles Anthony Law
(1916 - 1996)

Born in London, England, the son of Major and Mrs. A.S. Law, both Canadians. He arrived in Canada with his parents in 1917, and they settled in Quebec City. An Upper Canada College student (1928-31) he was part owner of an old 21 foot yacht at the age of sixteen. He sailed with others in the St. Lawrence unaware that he was gaining valuable experience for the demanding years that lay ahead. But not all his development was in this direction. His grandfather Captain Law was also an accomplished painter and the boy’s own talent was discovered and encouraged by Dr. Marius Barbeau. At the age of eighteen he studied under Franklin Brownell, F.H. Valley at the Ottawa Art Association (1934-37) while he studied at the University of Ottawa (1931-36). It was in Ottawa that he became a friend of Frank Hennessey with whom he painted in the Gatineau and Gaspé areas (1935-39). At home in Quebec City, he received instruction from Percival Tudor-Hart who like Brownell had studied at the Julian Academy in Paris.

In 1937 he held his first solo show in Quebec City. His goal in painting was to create a true conception of Canadian landscape in bold, and vigorous realism. In 1939 he was awarded the Jessie Dow Prize for landscape in oils. In 1937 he had joined the Royal Canadian Ordnance Corps as Lieutenant and in the last week August 1939 was sailing in his new yacht along the Saguenay River and painting some of the beautiful countryside as he went. When he returned to Tadoussac the last week in August he learned the war was not far off and immediately set sail for Quebec City. In March of the next year he transferred to the Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Reserve and within a week sailed for England where he served on big ships for a brief period before joining the Motor Torpedo Boat Command of the Royal Navy at Dover. In the months that followed, he recorded his experiences on canvas. He was appointed Official War Artist and completed twenty-nine large oil paintings and seventy-five oil sketches. Most of these works are in the National Gallery of Canada Second World War Collection. As early as 1942 his war paintings went on tour in Canada in connection with the Navy exhibition.

He held two solo shows in 1950 at the Little Gallery, Ottawa; another at the Odeon Theatre Gallery in 1951 before taking up his duties of first Lieutenant-Commander aboard the aircraft carrier ‘Magnificent’. In 1955 he became second-in-command of the Arctic patrol ship ‘Labrador’. Travelling north he made many sketches and in 1957 many of these paintings were exhibited at the Provincial Museum in Halifax. His Arctic paintings were on view at the Robertson Gallery, Ottawa in 1961.

After his retirement he devoted his full time to painting. A retrospective exhibition of his paintings was held at the Nova Scotia Museum of Fine Arts Centennial Art Gallery during November, 1968. He married Jane Shaw in 1942, an artist in her own right. He was a member of the Nova Scotia Society of Artists and is represented in the Quebec Provincial Museum, Nova Scotia Provincial Museum and the National Gallery of Canada.

Source: "A Dictionary of Canadian Artists, Volume II”, compiled by Colin S. MacDonald, Canadian Paperbacks Publishing Ltd, Ottawa, 1979