Artwork by Richard Jack,  Mid-Winter, the Laurentians

Richard Jack
Mid-Winter, the Laurentians

oil on board
signed lower right; titled on the reverse
12 x 16 in ( 30.5 x 40.6 cm )

Auction Estimate: $800.00$600.00 - $800.00

Price Realized $1,680.00
Sale date: June 25th 2024

Private Collection, Montreal

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Richard Jack
(1866 - 1952) RCA

Jack was born Sunderland, Tyne and Wear, United Kingdom in 1866. He studied at York School of Art before winning a national scholarship to the Royal College of Art in 1866. There he won a gold medal and in 1888 a travelling scholarship to the Académie Julian and Académie Colarossi. On his return to London in the early 1890s, he worked for a time on the staff of The Idler and for Cassell's Magazine. He rose to prominence in the field of portrait painting. Jack was awarded a silver medal at the 1900 Paris International Exhibition and at the Carnegie International in Pittsburgh in 1914. A portrait of King George V, commissioned by the Metropolitan Borough of Fulham, was later bought by the monarch himself. He subsequently painted portraits of Queen Mary, King Alphonso of Spain, and various interiors at Buckingham Palace.

In 1916, Jack accepted a commission in the Canadian Army to paint for the Canadian War Records Office, becoming Canada’s first official war artist. Many of his war paintings hang in the First World War section of the National Gallery of Canada. He painted such notable canvases as “Canadians at the Second Battle of Ypres”, “Vimy Ridge”, a portrait of Sir Arthur Currie. Later our own nation’s artists continued this work with great distinction. Jack was elected full member of the Royal Academy in 1920. He visited Canada in 1927 when he painted portraits of 16 Toronto people and did similar work in Montreal.

He settled in Montreal in 1931 when the Toronto Star noted, “He has a genius for rapid, vivid work, for striking portraiture done with dramatic regard to accessory details. Those who have seen Jack’s portraits understand this; the high speed style that gets a likeness in comparatively few strokes, then builds up around it certain fabrics of design and colour. Previously to coming to Montreal, Jack painted a series of Rocky Mountain pictures with much the same technique. You could tell a Jack mountain by its style, as you could a Jack portrait.”

His Toronto portraits were exhibited at the Art Gallery of Toronto in 1928 and his landscapes and some portraits were exhibited at the Art Association of Montreal in 1929. Richard Jack was elected Honorary Member of Royal Canadian Academy in 1940. He is represented in the collections of the Tate Gallery, London, The Art Gallery of Pittsburg and many others. He was a member of the Royal Society of British Artists and the Royal Institute of Painters.

Source: "A Dictionary of Canadian Artists, Volume II”, compiled by Colin S. MacDonald, Canadian Paperbacks Publishing Ltd, Ottawa, 1979