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Staples Page 7.1

Great Canadian Portraits

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Construction of the Dundas Street Bridge, Toronto, 1910 - Owen Staples
Orig. oil on canvas - Size - 31" x 53.5"
Found - Toronto, ON
By descent from artist


No one has ever painted a more glorious canvas than this fabulous impressionist masterpiece from an artist at the peak of his form, turning an ugly mechanical spectacle, of industrial mayhem, into a feast for the eyes in every part of the canvas.

Owen Staples was born in England and emigrated to Canada with his parents at the age of four. He was one of Canada's leading artists, in the late nineteenth and the first half of the twentieth century.

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Owen Staples was featured on a popular post card. This one was mailed to the wife of Prof. Macpherson at Queen's University, in 1910, the same year Owen sketched the pen and ink master from which he painted the oil (top) on the Don River, a mile or two lower down. It shows exactly how he dressed and set himself up to work in the field when he did it.


The Artist's Choice, Don River, 1910 (Owen Staples painting)
Orig. pc - Size - 3.5" x 5.5"
Found - Kingston, ON
The message clearly shows that the postcard, for most people, was still the telephone of 1910, and proves that even then men were just not reliable
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure As fine a watercolour as was ever painted of an Ontario waterfall.

Owen Staples first worked as an illustrator for the Toronto Evening Telegram, from 1885 to 1908. Then he was appointed the historical painter for the John Ross Robertson Collection. As well as illustrating books, and executing commissioned murals, he produced oil paintings, watercolours and etchings.

He studied under both Horatio Walker and George A. Reid before he was twenty.

He then completed his artistic education under the famous American painter, Thomas Eakins, in Philadelphia (1887-1888).

This beloved watercolour was given as a gift of thanks by students to a beloved teacher. With the passing decades the estate has put it back into public circulation.


Chelsea Falls, 1923 - Owen Staples
Orig. wc - Size - 9.5" x 14"
Found - Toronto, ON
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

University College, U of T - Owen Staples
Orig. wc - Size - 9.5" x 14"
Found - Toronto, ON'
By descent from artist
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

The Memorial Tower, U of T - Owen Staples
Orig. wc - Size - 9.5" x 14"
Found - Toronto, ON'
By descent from artist

Owen Staples is known among many art lovers for the various etchings he made of Hart House, University College, and the Soldier's Memorial Bell Tower, all at the University of Toronto.

 

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

A marvellous portrait of Canada's most painted spot, the Victoria Glacier, viewed from the front lawn of the Chateau Lake Louise, across Lake Louise itself.

This single spot has attracted more of Canada's painting elite than any other in the entire Dominion, each one trying to capture the magic of the place that has attracted millions of tourists since it was discovered by the first white man in the 1882.

Among the first to come here were mountaineers, to scale the peaks surrounding the glacier.

In fact, Canada's first mountaineering fatality occurred here, in 1896, when American Philip Abbot right fell to his death while his party was trying for the first ascent of Mount Lefroy, the domineering peak in the back left.

Regarded as one of the finest climbers of his time, this member of the Appalachian Mountain Club, proved a sad lesson that is as true today as it was then - fatal accidents in the outdoors lie in wait as much for confident, seasoned pros as for hapless amateurs. (Philip fell when he was unroped.)

The following year Peter Sarbach, the first Swiss Mountain Guide in the Rockies, led successful first ascents of Mount Lefroy and neighbouring Mount Victoria (above the glacier), in Philip's memory.

Over the next dozen years many famous Swiss mountain guides settled themselves in the Rockies establishing an outstanding record for safe climbing for their clients in making first - and follow-up - ascents of all the highest peaks.


Lake Louise, AB, 1922 - Owen Staples
Orig. wc - Size - 10" x 14"
Found - Toronto, ON
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Garden, Hogarth - Owen Staples
Orig. pastel - Size - 9.5" x 12.5"
Found - Toronto, ON
By descent from artist
Many of Owen's pastels and paintings of flowers were done in the garden behind his house on Hogarth Avenue.
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Flowers, Hogarth - Owen Staples
Orig. pastel - Size - 9.5" x 12.5"
Found - Toronto, ON
By descent from artist
Copyright Goldi Productions Ltd. 1996-1999-2005

Owen Staples 1 - (1866-1949)

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