Rock Formation St. Lawrence by Henry Sandham

Oil On Canvas
25 × 30 inches
63.5 × 76.2 cm
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About the Work

A cliff face in mauve and grey is separated by verdant foliage from a smaller foreground rock formation that rises from the edge of the St. Lawrence River in eastern Quebec, Canada. The technique of atmospheric perspective evident in the sky and distant land formation in lilac and mauve will have been informed by his training in the Art Department at William Notman's photographic studio in Montreal with John Arthur Fraser and with Otto Reinhold Jacobi who himself trained in Berlin in traditional landscape painting before coming to Montreal. The subject of this painting of eastern Quebec helps to date it between 1865 and 1880 when Sandham left Notman's and Montreal to travel to Europe and then re-establish himself in the Boston art community. The painting has been cleaned, restored and re-framed. Henry Sandham was a painter, photographer, and illustrator whose reputation was established by his paintings and watercolours on Canadian subjects. He was part of the landscape movement that characterized Canadian art at the time of Confederation. By 14 in 1856, Sandham was employed in William Notman’s Montreal photographic studio and by 18 was assistant to Notman’s partner John Arthur Fraser in the studio’s art department. As there was no art school in Montreal at the time, Sandham learned his crafts at Notman’s and from local painters Otto Reinhold Jacobi, Adolphe Vogt, Charles Jones Way and Fraser. Sandham became head of Notman’s art department in 1868 and won the silver medal at the Universal Exposition in Paris in 1878 for his composite photograph of the Montreal Snow Shoe Club (1877). After 1880, Sandham began working on assignment for “The Century Magazine” and “Scribner’s Monthly” magazine creating illustrations for the publications, including an illustration for George Grant’s “The Dominion of Canada” article for “Scribner’s Monthly”. He was a founding member of the Society of Canadian Artists and in 1880 became a charter member of the Royal Canadian Academy. Travelling to France, Boston, and England, spending significant time in Boston starting in 1880 where he was the vice president of the Boston Arts Club, Sandham left Boston for London in 1901 where his works were shown at the Royal Academy of Arts from 1905 to 1908. He passed away in 1910 in London, UK.

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