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Robert Harris, C.M.G., P.R.C.A., O.S.A. (Canadian, 1849-1919)

Miss Kathleen Pyke, Montreal

June 1913


oil on canvas
signed centre left 'Robert Harris'


Inscribed in the artists' hand on reverse: “Painted in June 1913 by Robert Harris
20 inches x 16 inches; feigned oval (50.8 cm x 40.6 cm)

In original period giltwood frame measuring 40 ¾ inches x 36 ½ inches, and bearing a label from 'Coppings Art Store (Montreal)'

Distinguished as one of Canada's greatest academic painters, one of the first artists named to The Royal Canadian Academy (1880), the longest serving President of The Royal Canadian Academy of Art (1893-1906), and the first Canadian artist to be created a Companion of The Most Distinguished Order of St. Michael & St. George CMG (1902), Robert Harris developed his artistic style in Paris during a pivotal moment in modern art history: the birth of Impressionism.


Having studied under Léon Bonnat, Harris excelled as an academic portraitist, and became famous for his monumental work The Fathers of Confederation, perhaps Canada's best known historical painting.  Later in his career, Harris returned to painting in an Impressionist-influenced style after purchasing the first book in English on the subject, The French Impressionists (1860–1900) by Camille Mauclair.


As demonstrated in this sensitive wedding portrait of Miss Kathleen Pyke of Montreal and Hudson Heights, Harris deftly assimilates quick dashes of vibrant colour and the fluid brushwork of the French Impressionists, while maintaining the formal characteristics of academic portraiture for which he became famous.

Robert Harris PRCA (Canadian, 1849-1919) 'Miss Kathleen Pyke', Montreal 1913


    The Collection of Dr. Martin L. Osler (Toronto, Canada).

    Joyner Canadian Fine Art (Toronto) 3 June 2013, lot 61.






    416 666 6295

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