ArtworksA.Y. JacksonBaie St. Paul in Winter, 1923 - 1924 (circa)1882-1974Sold
Inscriptionssigned, ‘A.Y. JACKSON’ (lower right)
Mabel Lockerby, Montreal;
Dominion Gallery, Montreal, May 1958;
Private collection, Montreal, May 1958.
The Collection of Mitzi and Mel Dobrin.
"Montreal’s Dominion Gallery acquired this sketch of a village street in late winter from the artist Mabel Lockerby in 1958."
-Charles C. Hill
Montreal’s Dominion Gallery acquired this sketch of a village street in late winter from the artist Mabel Lockerby in 1958. At the time of its acquisition it had no title, but was soon sold as Baie Saint Paul in Winter. The source of this identification is not clear as the church of Baie Saint Paul that Jackson would have known in the 1920s had two steeples on the east façade, the north steeple, shorter than the south. Several paintings of the church and village of Baie Saint-Paul by Albert Robinson are reproduced in Jennifer Watson’s catalogue, Albert H. Robinson The Mature Years (Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery, 1982).
The subject might be the village of La Malbaie where Jackson painted with Edwin Holgate in 1926, though he complained about the lack of snow there that spring. Or might the steeple crown the chapel of the motherhouse of the Petites Franciscaines de Marie adjacent to the Hôtel Victoria where Jackson stayed with Edwin Holgate in February - March 1923 and January 1924, as illustrated in the December 1991 issue of Charlevoix, the Revue de la Société d’histoire de Charlevoix? From the Hôtel Victoria Jackson wrote to J.E.H. MacDonald on 12 January 1924, “Here we are in the Christmas card country ... I see cards all waiting to be done in two printings and a few dabs of color put on by hand, while what I want to see are big bold bad compositions that will enrage the critics...”
While the identification of the village is of great interest, the importance of the painting is what Jackson does with the subject. The energetic application of paint, and the use of the bare wood showing through the rolling brushstrokes that define the hummocks of snow and between the clouds of the overcast sky avoid any semblance to a Christmas card. Jackson is well on his way to the “big bold bad compositions” he wanted. The orange red sleigh meandering along the curving road, marked with the wet earth of late winter, is framed in the foreground by the fence lower left and on the right the steps of the building with a double verandah. The steeple and electrical pole frame the white and yellow, green and pink houses clustered in front of the church. The restricted space effectively evokes the intimacy of Baie Saint-Paul where Jackson was working on illustrations for W.H. Blake’s translation of Adjutor Rivard’s Chez Nous published in 1924.
Charles C. Hill6of 22