A LONG, LOST LAWREN HARRIS HAS BEEN FOUND
October 23, 1885 - January 29, 1970
background painting: Lawren Harris - Shacks
I would like to point out that while there have been some critics of this finding and some not totally convinced, those few critics who have said that this canvas was not painted by Lawren Harris, all have refused to review the evidence and none have offered any evidence in support of their assertions, just their expertise. Lawren Harris himself has impeded authentication by the simple fact of rarely signing his work and abandoning works he did not like. Couple this with poor expertise about early Lawren Harris works; even the Canadian Conservation Institute admits failure because they have virtually no early Lawren Harris pigment samples for cross referencing. Resulting in several works being authenticated as genuine Lawren Harris’s that bear none of his signature traits. The resultant litigation has the Canadian Art Expert community running for the hills. The standard attitude now becomes that it is better to say no or refuse comment than invite a lawsuit.
So let us take a look at the facts about Autumn Harbour:
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Through this examination the question lingers on:
Did Lawren Harris Paint Autumn Harbour? ●
Circumstantial Evidence ●
- The first circumstantial evidence comes from the fact that Autumn Harbour was found in an antique curio shop in Bala, Ontario which is in the District Municipality of Muskoka which holds a Group of Seven mural festival every year in the Town of Huntsville, Ontario.
- Second, Autumn Harbour was painted by a right handed artist, not a major point but left handed brush strokes would rule out Lawren Harris.
- Third, the painting was unsigned, which is more typical of a Lawren Harris than a signed canvas.
- Fourth, the painting was abandoned, there is no provenance. There is no history prior to being found in Bala in the summer of 2000.
Not major points but consider: Harris was known to visit the area, he was experimenting with styles and subjects and he did abandon works and if he did do a painting and abandon it, what would it look like? Nobody knows but Autumn Harbour does fit all of the circumstantial evidence.
The Conclusion Is Inescapable ●
Lawren Stewart Harris painted Autumn Harbour while on vacation on Split Rock Island,
in Go Home Bay
on September 23rd, 1912.
Signature Traits ●
Lawren Harris signature traits: Autumn Harbour has evidence of
- Impasto style.
- Broad brush strokes.
- Segantini Stitch.
- Use of purple.
- And especially foreground to background painting.
seven Lawren Harris signature traits.
On site painting: Harris did all of his pencil and charcoal sketches on site, he did all of his oil sketches on site, he did several rough canvases on site in Toronto. I has been claimed that Autumn Harbour is wrong because there is no evidence that Lawren Harris ever painted a canvas on site while on a sketching trip. The only evidence to refute this assertion is that Harris was now on vacation with his wife living in a houseboat. To paint an on site rough canvas would have been more like a Toronto experience than a rural sketching trip. The evidence to support this is the Harris Family snapshot. Which not only corroborates the vacation theory but also supports the tree line evidence in Autumn Harbour.
Scientific Evidence ●
The scientific evidence now proves five points:
- The pigments on Autumn Harbour are similar to those available in 1912.
- The Lapis lazuli pigments are the same on both Autumn Harbour and Hurdy Gurdy sketch.
- The subject matter of Autumn Harbour is more than just a theory, fall storms on Georgian Bay were known to historical accounts, weather records and now a pair of Group of Seven painters.
- The evidence on the canvas of Autumn Harbour supports the dating theory.
This brings us to seventeen points of reference ●
- Four circumstantial.
- Seven Lawren Harris signature traits.