Artwork by Frederick Grant Banting,  St. Tite des Caps
Thumbnail of Artwork by Frederick Grant Banting,  St. Tite des Caps Thumbnail of Artwork by Frederick Grant Banting,  St. Tite des Caps Thumbnail of Artwork by Frederick Grant Banting,  St. Tite des Caps

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Cowley Abbott
326 Dundas St West
Toronto ON M5T 1G5
Ph. 1(416)479-9703

Lot #7

Frederick Banting
St. Tite des Caps

oil on board
signed lower right; signed, titled (”St. Tete de Cap” [sic]) and dated 1937 on the reverse
8.5 x 10.5 in ( 21.6 x 26.7 cm )

Auction Estimate: $30,000.00$20,000.00 - $30,000.00

Provenance:
Jim A. Hennok, Toronto
Private Collection, Toronto
Exhibited:
“Exhibition of Paintings by the Late Sir Frederick Banting”, Hart House, University of Toronto, 13 February-1 March 1943
“Banting & Jackson: An Artistic Brotherhood”, London Regional Art & Historical Museums; travelling to the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame, London, Ontario, 28 May-4 August 1997, no. 17
Literature:
A.Y. Jackson, “Banting as an Artist”, The Ryerson Press, Toronto 1943, reproduced page 28
Joyner Fine Art, auction catalogue, May 18, 1993, lot 90, for the canvas related to this artwork ("Quebec Farms, St. Tete Du Caps[sic]")
Sotheby’s Canada, auction catalogue, November 27, 1996, lot 75, for the canvas related to this artwork ("Quebec Farms, St. Tite Des Caps")
D.B.G. Fair, "Banting & Jackson, An Artistic Brotherhood", London, Ontario, 1997, reproduced page 19 (plate 1) as "Ste. Irenée", 1931
Sir Frederick Grant Banting was a scientist whose joint discovery of the therapeutic properties of insulin with John MacLeod won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1923. In the years following this historic discovery, Banting developed an interest in painting. After joining the Toronto Arts and Letters Club, Banting met and befriended members of the Group of Seven, including A.Y. Jackson, who became a frequent travelling and sketching companion. The two friends were known to visit Quebec and the far northern reaches of Canada on sketching trips.

Jackson and Banting had made many trips to St. Tite des Caps, located in the south-western corner of Quebec along the banks of the St. Lawrence River. Dated 1937, the oil on board "St. Tite des Caps" was created on the artist’s final trip to the area. Four year later Banting tragically died in a plane crash while on his way to test the Franks flying suit, a flight suit designed to mitigate the effects of G-force on pilots during high levels of acceleration.

Banting was greatly respected by Jackson, who commented publicly that the doctor showed a great deal of promise as an artist. For his part, Banting confided in Jackson that he wished to retire from the medical field when he turned 50 and dedicate his life to painting. At the time of his death, Banting was one of the best known Canadian amateur painters.
Sale Date: May 30th 2024

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Cowley Abbott
326 Dundas St West
Toronto ON M5T 1G5
Ph. 1(416)479-9703


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Frederick Grant Banting
(1891 - 1941)

Born in 1891 in Alliston, Ontario, Frederick Banting studied medicine at the University of Toronto. He received his MB degree in 1916 and immediately joined the Canadian Army Medical Corps and was sent overseas. He was wounded in France and awarded the Military Cross for bravery. Following the first World War, he continued his medical studies, receiving his M.D. degree in 1922. He had a particular interest in diabetes. Together with his assistant, Charles Best, Banting started the work which would lead to the lifesaving discovery of insulin. For this innovation, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1923. After the war, he had briefly set up a practice in London, Ontario. The practice was slow in getting started, so with some time on his hands, he was gripped with an urge to paint. This came about one day, when he happened by a London shop, with a display of artist’s paints in the window. He purchased them and embarked on teaching himself to paint. As his medical career took off, he had little time to devote to this passion, but after winning the Nobel Prize, he was able to dedicate some time to art. He became a collector as well as a painter. In 1927, he approached A.Y. Jackson, wishing to purchase one of his war sketches. This was the beginning of a long friendship. He saw one of Lawren Harris’ canvases and went to the artist’s studio to discuss this work and they became friends. Banting shared an appreciation of the beauty of the rugged Canadian landscape with both artists.

That same year, Jackson and Banting went on their first sketching excursion together. They travelled to St-Jean Port Jolie, on the south shore of the St. Lawrence. There, Banting received his first instruction in plein air landscape painting technique from Jackson. He had a natural aptitude and his works were accepted at juried exhibitions, but he was always afraid that his work had been accepted because of his reputation as a scientist, rather than its own merit. After a time, he no longer submitted works for exhibition. He was also reluctant to sell his paintings. He had an ingenious way of supporting the artists of his acquaintance. When a collector indicated a wish to purchase one of his paintings, he instructed them to purchase a work from another local artist, and he would then exchange it for one of his own works.

In July of 1927, Banting travelled with Jackson to the Arctic. On a trip lasting two and a half months, they encountered a variety of weather and light conditions in the Arctic landscape. They returned with many sketches. The one Jackson painted of Bache Post was donated to the National Gallery of Canada by the Minister of the Interior. Over the years Banting accompanied Jackson on many sketching trips. At different times, they returned to the North shore of the St. Lawrence, travelled to the Great Slave Lake area, and visited the Group of Seven haunt, Georgian Bay. At times they were joined by other artists. Banting thoroughly enjoyed the outdoor painting experience. He invented a system for getting his completed sketches home, without spoiling them, while they were still wet. He placed match sticks between the panels as spacers, a trick that A.Y. Jackson continued to use for the rest of his career. Jackson spoke of Banting’s great determination and hard work on these sketching trips, often getting up to sketch long before breakfast.

When the Second World War began, he began to devote himself exclusively to medical research, serving as a medical liaison officer between the British and North American medical services.