Artwork for Sale
Low Tide (recto); Portrait of a Young Woman (verso), 1940 (circa)
Inscriptionssigned, 'ANNE SAVAGE' (bottom left)
ProvenancePrivate collection, Montreal
Savage's appreciation of the Canadian landscape is known to have developed in part after her family moved to a farm in Dorval, then a rural community and today a suburban neighbourhood on Montreal's West Island. In 1911, the Savage family also purchased a property at Lake Wonish, in the Laurentians near Morin Heights. In the summers the Savage family would visit Metis, on the south shore of the St. Lawrence river near the Gaspe Peninsula.
Low Tide is among the finest paintings by Anne Savage. It's complex, intricate (not to be confused with lacking boldness!), and modern for its day. One senses a relationship in this work to the dock littler and intimate advanced landscapes by her artist colleague and fellow art teacher Arthur Lismer. On the reverse is a mostly finished portrait of a young woman, one that, it has to be said, might have been a marvellous accomplishment in its own right.
Savage excelled at art in high school, and in 1914 she began classes with Maurice Cullen and William Brymner at the Art Association of Montreal (AAM). Cullen, who had exhibited in the French Salons as early as 1894, would be a significant inspiration for the Group of Seven and other Canadian artists searching for a uniquely Canadian interpretation of the landscape. At the AAM Savage also met many of the other artists who would become associated with the Beaver Hall Hill Group. She would herself become a lifelong teacher.
Savage would return frequently to Metis as an adult, as she did when she drew the inspiration for this work. Her legacy as one of the original artists of the Beaver Hall Hill Group is arguably exceeded by her contribution to the circle of friendship and encouragement that endured for decades afterwards. Barbara Meadowcroft wrote:
"Friendships formed during Brymner's classes were rekindled on Beaver Hall Hill. And years after the studios were abandoned, the women continued to work together. They encouraged each other, shared news of art exhibitions, and offered constructive criticism of each other's work. At a time when women were having difficulty breaking into the predominantly male art world, they formed a valuable network."
Paintings by Anne Savage were included in the British Empire Exhibitions at Wembley, England in 1924 and 1925. She went on to become a founding member of the Canadian Group of Painters in 1933 and remained involved in teaching through the 1950s. Her paintings are in the collections of the National Gallery of Canada, The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, and the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, to name a selection.
“Retrospective Exhibition September 12 -26, 1992: Anne Savage (1896-1971)”. La Galerie Walter Klinkhoff., p. 6.