ArtworksMaurice CullenWinter, Paris, 19021866-1934CAD 55,000
Inscriptionssigned, 'M Cullen 02' (recto, lower left)
ProvenanceJohn L. Russell, John L. Russell Reg'd. and Beaver Hall Antiques Ltd, Montreal & Gananoque.
Colin Sinclair, Perth, Ontario.
Private Collection, California.
A.K. Prakash and Associates, Toronto;
Private Collection, Toronto
This was an important European stay for the evolving artist. As one can well imagine, at the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th century there could not have been a more inspirational or influential city to be for an artist than Paris. In 1902, when he painted this richly described work, it is unclear whether he was living at his Paris address in either the 15th or the 6th arrondissement on the Left Bank, both with close access to Blvd St Germain and Quai des Grands-Augustins, where at #45 his friend James Wilson Morrice lived. This would be a view from the Quai des Orfèvres on the île de la Cité, by either the Pont-Neuf or Pont Saint-Michel.
Coincidentally or otherwise, Cullen’s address of record of 1901, at 9, rue Falguière, in Montparnasse is the same where Clarence Gagnon and his first wife Katherine were living at the latest by 1907. This courtyard has been home to many artists over the generations with a couple of apartments including artist studios even today.
I believe the steeple we see in the distance is that of the Église Saint-Séverin on the left bank. It is worthy of mention that there is one truly memorable 1902 winter painting of Paris by Maurice Cullen (1), owned by the Art Gallery of Hamilton, sold by Walter Klinkhoff Gallery, an outstanding canvas presently on tour in the exhibition, ‘Canada and Impressionssionism. New Horizons,’ recently in Montpellier and Munich and soon on exhibit at the National Gallery of Canada.
The provenance of record lists the ownership of John L. Russell. John Russell was a most discerning collector and dealer of fine Canadiana. His store in Montreal was located literally no more than 100 meters west of our present Montreal address. His clients included the most important collectors in his fields of expertise of his generation. John Russell died on March 13th, 2003.
1. Maurice Galbraith Cullen, 'Paris, Winter on the Seine,' 1902, Oil on canvas, 28.9 x 36.4 in (73.4 x 92.5 cm), Gallery of Hamilton, Ontario3of 6