Artwork by William Goodridge Roberts,  Cyclamen on Table

Goodridge Roberts
Cyclamen on Table

oil on canvas
signed lower right; titled on labels on the reverse
38 x 30.25 ins ( 96.5 x 76.8 cms )

Auction Estimate: $15,000.00$12,000.00 - $15,000.00

Price Realized $15,600.00
Sale date: November 22nd 2021

Collection of Dr. & Mrs. Max Stern, Montreal
Dominion Gallery, Montreal
Arthur Leggett Fine Art & Antiques, Toronto
Private Collection, Ontario
The Elsie Perrin Williams Memorial Art Museum, London, Ontario
“Canadian Group of Painters”, Art Gallery of Toronto and Art Association of Montreal, 1947-48
Glenbow - Alberta Institute, Calgary, Alberta (undated)
Hugues de Jouvancourt, “Goodridge Roberts”, Montreal, 1984, reproduced in colour page 17
During the Second World War, William Goodridge Roberts served as an official war artist for Canada while stationed in England. At the close of the war, Roberts resumed his teaching position at the Art Association of Montreal. A prolific painter, Roberts developed his individualistic vision within the motifs of landscape, portraiture and still life. “Cyclamen on Table” features the artist’s trademark loose and assured brushwork. The lively red flowers form the peak of a triangular composition. A deft depiction of the patterned colours of the studio cloth adds visual energy. The linear brushstrokes of the background drapery echo the formation of the table legs, working to direct the viewer’s gaze about the composition. Though the painting appears to have been executed rapidly, the artist has taken care to capture the quality of crisp light landing on the table’s surface. Roberts relished the high degree of control that working with still life subjects allowed, creating arrangements of familiar objects in a studio setting for careful observation.

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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.