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Bonhams' Inaugural Canadian Sale In Toronto To Feature Important Works
Marc-Aurèle Fortin, A.R.C.A (Canadian, 1888-1970). Ste.Rose Quebec. Signed lower right, titled verso oil on board. 22 x 28 in. (56 x 71 cm). Circa CAD$70,000

TORONTO-Bonhams – the international fine art auction house – is delighted to announce its inaugural Canadian Sale, to be held at St Lawrence Hall in Toronto on 19 June 2008. The auction of important Canadian-related art and sculpture will feature over 350 Lots, with estimates ranging from CAD$200 – CAD$150,000.

With entries still being accepted for the auction, current star lots include important oil paintings by Canadian artists Jean-Paul Riopelle (1923-2002) and Jean-Paul Lemieux (1904-1990), significant historical watercolours from Canadian/American painter Peter Rindisbacher (1806-1834), who died at the tender age of 28, as well as sculpture by Marc Aurèle de Foy Suzor-Côté (Canadian, 1869-1937).

Members of the public will be able to preview over 40 artworks from the sale in both Montreal and Toronto prior to the sale. Further details will be posted on or by telephoning Kristin Hayashi on +1 (416) 462 9004.

All the way from a private collection in Seattle, Washington, Jean-Paul Riopelle’s painting Le Chant De L’Alouette, measuring 39.25 x 28.5 inches, is expected to fetch CAD$125,000-150,000. The artist, who was born in Montreal and was associated with the city’s art group Le Automatistes, painted the energetically charged work in 1955. It is a fantastic example of Riopelle’s use of bold colour, condensed space and expressional movement.

Another highlight of Bonhams’ Canadian sale in June is Jean-Paul Lemieux’s painting L’Isle aux Coudres, which is has been sourced from a private collection in the UK and is expected to fetch CAD$90,000-120,000. The oil painting (18.25 x 50.5 in), which depicts an atmospheric landscape of land, blue sky and water, is dated ‘59’ and is typical of the artist’s work around that time. Born in Quebec, Lemieux studied at the École des Beaux-Arts in Montreal and later in Colarossi and Grand Chaumière academies in Paris. In 1956, he began to paint general horizontal landscapes including sea, winter and urban scenes. The painting to be sold by Bonhams Canada was bought directly from the artist’s atelier in Quebec in 1959.

Three rare and historically important watercolours by Canadian/American artist Peter Rindisbacher will also be offered in the same sale, with estimates ranging between $60,000 and $120,000. Rindisbacher was an artist who specialized in watercolours and illustrations dealing with First Nation tribes, Western Canada and the United States. From the time he was a teenager to his premature death at age 28, Rindisbacher was a producing artist. He is known to have produced 124 artworks in total.

President of Bonhams Canada, Jack Kerr-Wilson, says: “To offer for sale three watercolours by Rindisbacher is no small feat, especially given that this is Bonhams first auction in Canada. To see one example at auction is a rare thing. To see several works by the artist in the same sale is extremely unusual. His work just doesn’t come up on the auction market very often.”

Of the three Rindisbacher watercolours to be sold by Bonhams Canada, A Dog Cariole only used in winter by Canadian Indians, has the highest estimate at CAD$80,000-120,000. The 6.5 x 10.75 inch painting will be sold from the late May and John N (Jack Cole) Collection, Westmount, Quebec. From the same collection, a pair of late 18th century armoires will be sold with an estimate of CAD$30,000-40,000.

Sculpture will appear in the sale in the form of a bronze L’Iroqois by the well-known sculptor and painter Marc Aurèle de Foy Suzor-Côté.

Other highlights of the sale include:

Marcelle Ferron, R.C.A. (Canadian, 1924-2001)
Le Gypaéte Pourpre
signed lower right and dated "59" verso oil on canvas
51.5 x 38.25 in. (131 x 97 cm)

Frederic Marlett Bell-Smith, P.R.C.A., O.S.A. (Canadian, 1846-1923)
Train passing through the Fraser Canyon near an Indian fishing place
signed “F.M.Bell-Smith” lower right oil on canvas
42 x 60 in. (106.6 x 152.4 cm.)

Provenance: Private collection, U.K.

Bell-Smith was commissioned by the Canadian Public Railway in 1888 and 1890 to travel to the West and paint Rocky mountain scenes for the railway.

The sale will be held at St Lawrence Hall, 157 King Street East, Toronto, Ontario, M5C 1G9.

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