Artwork by Albert Henry Robinson,  Opulent Autumn, St. Geneviève

A.H. Robinson
Opulent Autumn, St. Geneviève

oil on panel
signed lower left and titled lower right
11 x 13 ins ( 27.9 x 33 cms )

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

Price Realized $48,000.00
Sale date: December 6th 2023

Watson Art Galleries, Montreal
Walter Klinkoff Gallery, Montreal, by 1968
Peter Bronfman, Montreal
Waddington Gallery, Montreal
Acquired by the present Private Collection, May 1978
“Albert H. Robinson”, University of Guelph; travelling to Kitchener‒ Waterloo Art Gallery, 3 March‒21 April 1968 as “Ste Geneviève”, 1928
“Collector's Canada: Selections from a Toronto Private Collection,” Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; travelling to Musée du Québec, Québec City; Vancouver Art Gallery; Mendel Art Gallery, Saskatoon, 14 May 1988‒7 May 1989, no. 84 as circa 1928
“Hommage à Albert H. Robinson”, Galerie Walter Klinkhoff, Montreal, September 1994, no. 2
“Embracing Canada: Landscapes from Krieghoff to the Group of Seven”, Vancouver Art Gallery; travelling to the Glenbow Museum, Calgary; Art Gallery of Hamilton, 30 October 2015‒25 September 2016
Dennis Reid, “Collector's Canada: Selections from a Toronto Private Collection”, Toronto, 1988, no. 84, reproduced page 77
“Hommage à Albert H. Robinson”, Galerie Walter Klinkhoff, Montreal, September 1994, no. 2, reproduced page 8
Ian Thom, et al., “Embracing Canada: Landscapes from Krieghoff to the Group of Seven”, Vancouver /London, 2015, reproduced page 145
Albert Henry Robinson spent most of his career based in Montreal, where he was a member of the Pen and Pencil Club of Montreal and the Arts Club of Montreal. He was also elected a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts in 1920, the same year in which he participated as a guest artist at the inaugural exhibition of the Group of Seven in Toronto. In contrast to the Group, Robinson would remain a sensitive and authentic interpreter of the Quebec landscape. In doing so, the painter shared much with the artists of the Beaver Hall Group in Montreal, where he found many travel companions through Quebec villages.

This vibrant autumn scene, appropriately titled “Opulent Autumn, Ste Geneviève”, employs a very modernist colour palette, also akin to the paintings of the Beaver Hall artists of the time. The golden overflowing hay wagon, contrasted with the bright green grass, the figure’s blue pants, the pink panelling on the side of the building, as well as the orange foliage form a harmonious combination of warm colours in this charming village scene. Robinson has used loose yet deliberate brushstrokes to create simplified forms that retain a strong attention to detail, such as a man’s straw hat and the pot of flowers under the porch.

The location depicted in this oil painting is the village of Sainte-Geneviève, located on the north-west shore of the Island of Montreal. At the time this artwork was completed in circa 1928, it was a small village populated by traditional Quebec-style dwellings and colonial mansions; today it is one of the many neighbourhoods forming the West Island of Montreal. In the background of the scene are two tall church spires, protruding upward beyond the border of the painting. The church is the Église Sainte-Geneviève, built in 1844 and designed by renowned Quebec architect Thomas Baillargé. Construction began in 1843 and borrowed heavily from Neo-classic, Colonial and Spanish revival, using locally-quarried materials. The stone facade has two silver spires that tower 34 metres (111 feet) above the ground. In 1926, fellow Quebec artist Ozias Leduc was appointed as artistic director for the decoration of the interior, and the stained glass windows were created by the renowned glass artist John Patrick O’Shea.

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Albert Henry Robinson
(1881 - 1956) Canadian Group of Painters, RCA

Albert Henry Robinson (RCA) was born in Hamilton, Ontario in 1881. Robinson studied in Hamilton with John S. Gordon and left for Paris in 1903. He continued his training at the Julian Academy with Bouguereau and Bachet, and then with Ferrier at the L’Ecole des Beaux-Arts. During his time there he travelled to Normandy and Corsica. After returning to Hamilton, John S. Gordon hired him as an assistant and Robinson exhibited his work for the first time in 1906. In 1910 he met and befriended A.Y. Jackson. Between 1918 and 1933 Robinson travelled along the shores of the St. Lawrence and in the Laurentians painting many landscapes, which constitute the bulk of his work.