David Brown Milne
CGP CSGA CSPWC
1882 - 1953
oil on canvas
on verso titled and dated 1944 on the gallery labels
15 x 20 in 38.1 x 50.8 cm
Galerie Godard Lefort, Montreal, 1971
Masters Gallery Ltd., Calgary
Peter Ohler Fine Arts Ltd., Vancouver
Private Collection, Vancouver
David P. Silcox, David Milne (1882 - 1953): A Survey Exhibition, Galerie Godard Lefort, 1971, listed, unpaginated
David Milne Jr. and David P. Silcox, David B. Milne: Catalogue Raisonné of the Paintings, Volume 2: 1929 - 1953, 1998, reproduced page 847, catalogue #404.116
David Milne continued to work steadily and exhibit through the war years, while based in the small rural town of Uxbridge, northeast of Toronto, where he had moved in 1940. After long stretches in wilderness settings in previous years, Milne would again depict town scenes, such as in this fine painting. For seven years previous to 1944, Milne worked infrequently in oil, but in this year he began to concentrate on the medium again until 1947, when his focus switched to watercolours. The dominant feature in Houses is the contrast between the pale and radiant great empty sky (a favourite device of Milne’s) and the houses anchored on the dark, bare earth. The sky is two-dimensional, with just the faint suggestion of cloud shapes, and is delicately stained with gold and orange. Milne’s unique sense of line is present in the black outlines of the structures and in the squiggles, dabs and lines of orange that animate windows, roof edges and overhangs. Milne’s modernist treatment of his subject, reduced to simplified planes and lines and a carefully limited palette, is intensely satisfying.
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