Artwork by Mary Alexandra Bell Eastlake,  Noonday Rest

Mary Eastlake
Noonday Rest

oil on board
signed lower right
16 x 20 ins ( 40.6 x 50.8 cms )

Auction Estimate: $3,000.00$2,000.00 - $3,000.00

Price Realized $3,360.00
Sale date: March 26th 2024

Private Collection, Ontario
Royal Canadian Academy, Art Gallery of Toronto, 17 November-17 December 1944, no. 38 as “Noonday Rest”

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Mary Alexandra Bell Eastlake
(1864 - 1951)

Born at Douglas, Ontario, she spent her early life in Almonte and Carillon, Quebec, where her father was engaged in the construction of the Carillon Dam. She was a student of Robert Harris in Montreal and later studied in Paris where she attended the Académie Colarossi and exhibited at the Salon. She went to England and settled at St. Ives where she met and married English landscapist C. H. Eastlake. They became designers and made jewellery and enamels.

She exhibited with the Royal Academy, the Royal Institute of Painters in Oils, and the London Pastel Society. The Studio once described her work as follows, “. . . Mrs. Eastlake’s work is essentially decorative. She has a strong sense of rhythm and pattern. Her colour, which is pure and strong, is usually put down in flat tones, whether the medium be pastel, oil colour or gouache . . .” She also visited the U.S.A. where she exhibited with the New English Art Club, Boston, and with other groups at New York, Philadelphia, and Chicago. She paid several visits to Canada and finally stayed, with her husband, in 1939. They spent several years in Montreal and later moved to Almonte, Ontario.

Her pictures of children bring to mind the work of Mary Cassatt, American artist. The National Gallery of Canada has several canvases by her, some landscapes, portraits, and figure studies. She signed her canvases M.A. Bell, and after marriage, M.A. Eastlake. One of her largest Canadian exhibitions was held at the Art Gallery of Toronto during the winter 1927. She died in Ottawa.

Sources: "A Dictionary of Canadian Artists, Volume I: A-F", compiled by Colin S. MacDonald, Canadian Paperbacks Publishing Ltd, Ottawa, 1977