Original Watercolour - "Off the Island Gloucester" Signed by Canadian Artist Robert F. Gagen OSA, RCA, CSPWC (1848-1926) - Ornate Gold and Taupe Gesso and Wood Frame (chips on corners) - Referred to as the painter of the seas in his time - 25.5" W x19.25"
Robert Ford Gagen (1847-1926)
R. F. Gagen was a marine and landscape painter, fluent in both oils and watercolours. Born in London, England, he came to Canada with his parents in 1862 and they settled near Seaforth, Ontario. His father was an architect and the boy had been interested in painting before coming to Canada.
After the family had settled in Seaforth, Gagen received instruction from William Cresswell, R.A., who had come out from England to farm in the same area. Cresswell also gave him materials which were difficult to obtain in the new settlement. On Cresswell’s advice, Gagen sent some of his paintings to provincial exhibitions where they were awarded prizes. Later Gagen went to Toronto with letters of introduction mainly from Cresswell and enrolled in the painting class of G. Gilbert. He got a job in the art department of Notman and Fraser where he worked under the direction of John A. Fraser. He spent nine years with the firm painting miniatures and water colour portraits on a photographic base. During this time he also developed his landscape painting under the helping hand of Fraser and became an artist of note. A.H. Robson in 1934 wrote that Gagen drew the subject matter for his pictures from a wide-flung field, painting from the Rockies to the Atlantic.
For many years he was widely known as a painter of the mountains, but without question his best work is in his painting of the sea . . . during his later years, he journeyed every summer to the Bay of Fundy to gather sketches and matrial for his winter’s work in the studio. His paintings of fishing boats, the rolling surf and the play of sunlight and shadow on the rocky coasts form his greatest gift to Canadian art. Gagen was a founding member of the Ontario Society of Artists in 1872 and later became the society’s permanent secretary. At the society’s meetings and exhibitions he was jocular, humorous, active and much esteemed.
When the Royal Canadian Academy was founded in 1880, Gagen became an Associate Charter Member and in 1915 was elected full member. Throughout his lifetime he exhibited approximately 150 paintings at the academy. He was president of the Arts and Letters Club, Toronto (1919-20) and Commissioner of Fine Arts for the Canadian National Exhibition (1912-26). He was a founding member of the Canadian Society of Painters in Watercolour and was Honorary President in 1925-26.He was awarded honourable mention at the Pan-American Exhibition, Buffalo, 1901.
Although regarded mostly as a Canadian artist, J. Russel Harper notes of Gagen working extensively in Gloucester Massachusetts and on the Maine coast. From 1892 to 1922 there were very few years the artist didn’t include an American coastal view at the RCA exhibition.
Most Canadian art history books discuss his influence and work; and examples of his paintings and hand colored photographs are in numerous museums. Several of his paintings are in the National Gallery of Canada.
Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, ON
Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY
MacKenzie Art Gallery, Regina, SK
National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, ON
Nutana Collegiate Institute, Saskatoon, SK
Ontario Government Collection, Toronto, ON
Ottawa Art Gallery, Ottawa, ON
Parkwood, the R. S. McLaughlin Estate, Oshawa, ON
University of Lethbridge, Lethbridge, AB
University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK
|Oct 22, 2020||$653.65|
|Nov 21, 2020||$576.75|
|Dec 21, 2020||$499.85|
$ 576.75 (on sale)
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