ArtworksFrederick Simpson CoburnReturning with Wood, 19311871-1960Sold
InscriptionsSigned and dated, 'F.S. COBURN 31' (recto, lower left)
Galerie Walter Klinkhoff Inc., Montreal.
Private Collection, Arizona, U.S.A.
— Rarely will a Canadian art collector have the opportunity to purchase a composition by Coburn which finds him at the height of his artistic powers and with such an exciting display of imagery of which he is absolutely masterful. Sure, we are familiar with his team of horses, unequalled in Canadian art of his generation. His play of light and shade in the winter snows is learned from his mentor Maurice Cullen and manipulated by Coburn to Cullen’s standard. A Coburn sky is an achievement of countless pages of studies in pencil of that unique aspect of a painting. In this particular composition the artist has added the visual motif of his neighbours’ homes, their roofs heavy with fresh snow. Only Suzor-Coté and Clarence Gagnon could have recorded an age and a place with a comparable artistic ability. As a student of art in Montreal, New York City, Berlin, Paris, London (He had the benefit of training with Henry Tonks, the same celebrated master Allan Edson studied under) and Amsterdam, it is unlikely that any Canadian artist had a stronger academic art training than did Coburn. This goes a long way to explaining the superlative quality of painting he was capable of achieving.
In 1928, at the age of 57, Coburn was elected a Member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts (RCA). He became a Senior Member in 1941. His paintings eventually hung in galleries across the country and in museums and private collections as far away as Australia and Japan.
Coburn's work was exhibited in Canada and abroad. In 1928, he exhibited two canvases at the Imperial Gallery of Art Exhibition in London, England. In 1929, he won the Art Association of Montreal's Jessie Dow prize for his painting, March Morning. In 1932, the Arts Club of Montreal held a special exhibition of his Drummond illustrations. In 1936, he received an honorary D.C.L. from Bishop's University in Lennoxville, Quebec. In 1938, he exhibited two paintings in the Tate Gallery's A Century of Canadian Art exhibition in London-to highlight a few of his achievements.13of 60