ArtworksJohn Young JohnstoneChâteau-Richer Church, P.Q., 19201887-1930CAD 25,000
Inscriptionssigned, 'J Johnstone' (lower left); titled, signed and dated, 'Chateau Richer Church / P.Q. / J Johnstone / 1920' (verso, centre)
Arthur Leggett Fine Art & Antiques, Toronto.
A.K. Prakash, Toronto.
Canadian Fine Arts, Toronto;
Acquired from the above by the present private collection , Toronto, 2019.
ExhibitionsMontreal, Galerie Walter Klinkhoff, Montreal, John Y. Johnstone (1887-1930) Retrospective Exhibition, September 17 - October 1, 2015, no. 49
LiteratureGalerie Walter Klinkhoff, Montreal, John Young Johnstone. Retrospective Exhibition. September 17, 2005 - October 01, 2005, reproduced on front cover.Château Richer, offered here, was illustrated on the cover of the John Young Johnstone Retrospective exhibition at our original family gallery, Galerie Walter Klinkhoff, in 2005. This was the largest exhibition of Johnstone's paintings ever held.
In his day John Young Johnstone was an artist of distinction, one whose paintings stood out among those of his most accomplished peers, giants of the Canadian art world. From 1915, the beginning of John Young Johnstone's albeit too short mature career as an artist, and through 1924, the National Gallery of Canada purchased six of his paintings. In 1920, Quebec's Prime Minister Taschereau authorized the establishment of the Quebec Museum, to be opened two years later. Under the Secretary of the province, The Honorable Athanase David, a jury was organized to select six paintings from the Art Association of Montreal and Royal Canadian Academy exhibitions of that year to be the foundation for the future museum, one of which was Johnstone's Old Courtyard, St. Vincent Street . The following year, Montreal's La Presse, in their review of that now iconic Beaver Hall Group exhibition of 1921 held over at 305 Beaver Hall Hill, cited a small painting by Johnstone of Rue des Carrieres among the most interesting works in the exhibition, calling it, "a real gem" ("un vrai joyau") . Johnstone’s paintings reveal a modern Canadian artist painting in a personal interpretation of post impressionism. can legitimately be compared favourably to the quality and sensitivity of those of Clarence Gagnon and James Wilson Morrice and by no means in their styles.
The outstanding exhibition and accompanying catalogue 1920s Modernism in Montreal: The Beaver Hall Group, edited by Jacques Des Rochers and Brian Foss, provided an important and succinct summary of Johnstone's participation in Montreal's art community . His formation and practice as an artist was very much in keeping with other aspiring and established artists of his place and time. This included studies at the Art Association of Montreal under William Brymner, then off to Paris, returning to Montreal where he contributed paintings to Art Association of Montreal spring shows as well as those of the Royal Canadian Academy of the Arts, membership in the Pen and Pencil Club, and the Arts Club of Montreal. Des Rochers and Foss disclose that Johnstone taught at various art schools, including the Monument National, the Arts Club and the Women's Art Association . The year following Johnstone’s death, 1931, the Arts Club held a memorial exhibition in his honour.
 According to Michele Grandbois, "Suzor-Coté et la collection du Musée National des beaux-arts du Québec", Journal of Canadian Art History, Vol. XXVI, 2005, p. 148, the other paintings selected were what are now iconic paintings by Albert Robinson, Suzor-Cote, Clarence Gagnon, Maurice Cullen and Alice Des Clayes. As an aside, if one has doubts as to the ability of Alice Des Clayes, we refer you to the canvas by her the jury chose at the 37th Spring Exhibition, Place Jacques Cartier, a painting Professor Laurier Lacroix reproduce on the title page to his exhibition of 1996/97 Peindre Montréal, 1915-1930 Les Peintres de la Montée Saint Michel et Leurs Contemporains. A more elaborate description of the selection process including members of the committee and the works selected is described by Professor Lacroix in “La collection comme temps de la Nation. Les premières acquisitions du Musée de la province de Québec en 1920” in Les cahiers des dix, no. 62 (2008). Professionally we take this opportunity to tell you that we have had the pleasure of serving three daughters of Senator Athanase David. Also we have acted for other relatives. This was a gentleman of great taste. A number of artists of the generation attended at least oneof his daughter’s weddings and gave works of art as gifts. In our experience any work of art with his provenance is one of great quality.
 Michèle Grandbois, 2005, p. 148
"Au fil de l'heure : Le Groupe Beaver Hall", La Presse, 20 January 1921, p. 2 4. The Johnstone of Rue des Carrieres called "a real gem" ("un vrai joyau") in that Thursday edition of La Presse on January 20, 1921 may in fact be the same sketch he exhibited and offered for sale unsuccessfully at a price of $20 in the Art Association Exhibition of 1917.
 Jacques Des Rochers, Brian Foss, et al., 1920s Modernism in Montreal: The Beaver Hall Group, (Montreal: Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, 2015), p. 300
 Ibid.2of 8