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Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Paul Wickson's own print, still mounted in a period frame, with wavy glass, and cedar shake backboards.

It was issued as a Christmas Supplement to the Toronto Globe in 1900.

To painters like Paul, retaining and hanging a chromolithograph of his work was just as important as displaying the original.

The mass produced original print - not a photomechanical reproduction with dots - showed that his work was good enough to have a major newspaper select it as a supplement to its readers.

The print was destined to hang in countless homes, hotels, and bars across Canada, for decades to come.

Below you can see the changes made to make the picture more topical, and tying it to a pathetic scene of men at war.

It is apparent that the original is softer - always the case with pastels - than the print, to which contrast was increased to give it more definition.

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Chromolithograph Print - The Last Farewell - Paul Wickson, 1900
Orig. chromolithograph - Image Size - 40 x 58 cm
Found - Paris, ON

Provenance - Paul Wickson Estate

Original pastel (softer.).

 

 

 

 

 

 

Repaint on litho stones (more contrast.)

 

Below, pastel (softer), and repaint on the original print.

 

 

Right from the two horse portraits above, the horse's eye from the pastel on the left, and from the chromolithograph on the right.

Note how in the hands of a skilled artist, the horse's personality has been totally preserved from the pastel to the litho stone.

These chromolithographs, though mass produced, are all original prints, each one handled individually by a craftsman and printed from litho stones.

No two are ever exactly the same in colour or tone.

Right the man's eyes, from the two portraits below, the pastel eye on the left and the chromolithograph eye on the right.

Below pastel (chalkish) and chromolithograph original print (pebbly).

 

 

 

 

Pastel has been used by artists who want a more artistic effect, rather than a tack sharp photographic representation of a subject.

The medium allows for a more emotional impact than, say, the tack sharp reality of a Robert Bateman reproduction.

Note the rough pebbly surface on a pastel, created by rubbing a crayon across the paper.

The man's eye is barely perceptible.

 

 

 

 

 

 





With pastel, the artist creates an impression, a mood, and the viewer subconsciously fills in the detail.

The horse's eye, doesn't look like a real horse's eye, but the pastel representation in the hands of a skilled artist like Paul Wickson, gets the personality of the horse across.

Note the the abrasive roughness of a pastel crayon's residue, which is very much like chalk.

 

 

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

How extremely fabulous to find the original for one of the most famous pictures to come out of Canada during the Boer War.

It's Paul Wickson's "The Last Farewell" depicting a Canadian trooper taking leave of a comrade's grave site before moving on, and going home, without him.

This is the pastel original, in its original frame and glass, where it was put by Paul Wickson himself in 1900.

Below is the famous chromolithograph print made from this work, after details were added: a grave - outlined in stones - and a little stone monument, with a wooden cross.

After Paul completed this original pastel, he, or another artist, transferred the image by repainting it on to litho stones so prints could be made.

Both the original pastel and the chromolithograph print were Paul Wickson's personal copies, which continued to hang in his house, in Paris, late into the 20th century.

Paul Wickson died in 1922. His family kept the house, and lots of his art, hanging inside. In 1950 the Wicksons sold the house, complete with much of his art still hanging there. Both original and print come from that collection.


Pastel - The Last Farewell - Paul Wickson, 1900
Orig. pastel - Image Size - 40 x 60 cm
Found - Paris, ON

Provenance - Paul Wickson Estate

Original Art (Pastels) - Originals & Repros 3

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Great Canadian Heritage Treasure J'accuse! Pride, Pain, & Pastel Power - One of Canada's most famous Indian chiefs, celebrated in one of Canada's finest Indian portraits, done in pastel, by a leading Canadian painter renowned for his powerful portraits of important Indian leaders a century ago.

What other Canadian portrait better expresses, the pride of a noble leader, the pain of a people betrayed - as well as reflect a tragic episode in Canadian history - than does this pastel tour de force by one of Canada' s finest artists?

A Face for the Ages: Letting more than a little of his slip show, Edmund Morris breaks every studio posing convention with this stunning portrait.

Echoing a police mug shot - a sly allusion to the contemporary white view of this imprisoned native leader - Morris fires back with one of the most powerful faces in Canadian art history - clearly intending it to be a portrait for the ages. He brashly faces Poundmaker, fully frontal, in a clearly accusatory confrontation of an aboriginal leader with his white audience.

And obviously Edmund is standing right behind him.

No smiling tourist pose here; no Hollywood Indian savage; no studio posed museum redskin. No fussy feathers, or fancy headdress; no pretty bead work. No cradled tomahawk - a veiled threat of force - or a ceremonial peace pipe - acknowledging a just and happily concluded negotiation.

Stripped of the props and poses, beloved by studio portrait painters of Indians, Edmund gives us only a man in a cheap shirt - but what a face!

It exudes the power of immense self-assurance, of personal pride, of moral purpose, but also of trust betrayed in those pained eyes.We are given a superlative portrait of a human being in great pain. Only later do you realize Morris has also painted an Indian - a masterwork of a tortured face which reflects a great tragedy in Canadian aboriginal history.

This stunning and extraordinarily rare portrait is one of only four originals known to exist: one hangs in the Legislature of Saskatchewan, another in the Legislature of Alberta, and another - donated by Edmund Morris himself - is in the vaults of the London, Ontario city archives.

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Pastel, Poundmaker - Edmund Morris 1910
Orig. pastel - Size - 38 x 54
Found - Toronto, ON
Pastel on paper, and signed by Edmund Morris