Artwork by George Agnew Reid,  Lullaby

George Reid

oil on canvas
signed, dated 1893 and inscribed “Replica” lower right
24 x 33.25 ins ( 61 x 84.5 cms )

Auction Estimate: $20,000.00$15,000.00 - $20,000.00

Price Realized $20,400.00
Sale date: December 1st 2022

T.A. Reid
Private Collection, Montreal
“Toronto Artists”, London, Ontario; travelling to Hamilton, January 1894 as “Lullaby”
“Auspices of the King’s Daughters”, Ontario Society of Artists, Owen Sound, 6-9 March 1906, no.82 as “The Lullaby” (Property of T.A. Reid)
“The Week”, Vol. 11, no.6, 5 January 1894, page 136 “Art Notes”
“Art Exhibition of the Ontario Society of Artists: Auspices of the King’s Daughters”, Ontario Society of Artists, 1906, no. 82, listed page 5 Muriel Miller Miner, “G.A. Reid Canadian Artist”, Toronto, 1946, page 194
George A. Reid executed the original 48 ins x 66 ins oil painting “Lullaby” in 1891. It was met with great acclaim at the time, presented in Toronto and later shown at the 1892 Salon exhibition in Paris. This version of Lullaby, a smaller copy of the composition, was painted
in 1893 and like its predecessor, touchingly exemplifies the sweet pathos of human life. Perhaps Reid recognized the success of his 1891 composition, taking pride in its inclusion in the Paris Salon and wished to capitalize on the public’s interest. Reid certainly wished the work to be understood as a later duplication of the praised “Lullaby” painting, as it prominently displays the word “Replica” next to his signature and date.

As shared in the “Art Notes” section of “The Week” in January 1894, “A group of our Toronto artists have been giving an exhibition of some of their best work in London, West, and quite a number of sales made, one of the most important of these being a replica of Mr. G.A. Reid’s “Lullaby”, somewhat smaller than the original.” “Lullaby” was clearly a sought after and recognizable work, as it was the only artwork by Reid referenced in the article. It was sold in London before the exhibition continued to Hamilton for the close of the show. Reid certainly took pride in the canvas, as he included the replica “Lullaby” in an Ontario Society of Artists exhibition twelve years later, then in the collection of T.A. Reid.

Muriel Miller Miner, Reid’s biographer, stated that, “The dominant trait of George Agnew Reid’s character is industry. An indefatigable worker, impatient of haste and of indolence, and patient in failure and in delay”. A hardworking and influential man, Reid was a leading proponent for the advancement of art in Canada throughout his illustrious artistic career. The discovery of this replica “Lullaby” is of great significance within the narrative of one of Reid’s most expressive works.

We extend our thanks to Brian Foss, Carleton University Professor of Art & Architectural History, for his assistance in researching this artwork.

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George Agnew Reid
(1860 - 1947) OCA, PRCA