Artwork by William Goodridge Roberts,  Still Life with Fruit & Flowers

Goodridge Roberts
Still Life with Fruit & Flowers

oil on canvas
signed lower right
25 x 30 ins ( 63.5 x 76.2 cms )

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

Price Realized $15,600.00
Sale date: June 15th 2022

Galerie Valentin, Montreal
Private Collection, Toronto
William Goodridge Roberts’ still life paintings are an apt demonstration of the artist’s range; from the pared-down modernist experiments of the 1940s to the vigorous impastos of his late period. What remained constant was Roberts’ diligent commitment to his studio practice and his emphasis on painting from direct, careful observation. Roberts drew on the influence of French painting, particularly the works of Cézanne and Chardin. With lively but precise brushstrokes, Roberts depicts each object with highlights and subtle tonal shifts. The flowers delicately catch the light, drawing them out from the earthy background. Roberts seems to take enjoyment in the painterly skill involved in contrasting the dimensional objects on the table from the flat decorative motifs of the tablecloth.

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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.