Don’t Miss These 5 Treasures of Canadian Art Heading to Auction at Heffel Fine Art, Including a Prized Landscape by Emily Carr

Rare works by famed Canadian artists including Emily Carr, Lawren Harris, Paul Kane, and Jack Bush are on offer.

Emily Carr, Music in the Trees (circa 1935). Courtesy of Heffel Fine Art Auction.

On December 1, Toronto’s Heffel Fine Art Auction House will present back-to-back auctions—Canadian, Impressionist & Modern Art and Post-War & Contemporary Art. Totaling some 80 works combined, the two sales are estimated to achieve between $12 million and $17 million CAD total. The two auctions feature a trove of rare masterworks by Canada’s most renowned artists including Emily Carr, Lawren Harris, Paul Kane, and Jack Hamilton Bush. The market for works by the Canadian Modernist art circle the Group of Seven is particularly strong this year and Heffel’s fall sales are highlighted by a number of significant examples painted during the highly sought-after “Group” period.

“Art is a source of happiness for so many, and it has truly been an honor to work with collectors that share in our passion and excitement,” David Heffel, president of Heffel Fine Art Auction House, said regarding the upcoming sale. “The caliber of artworks included in our sale is the result of many outstanding collections and important estates, and we look forward to finding the works new homes where they will be enjoyed for generations.” 

The auction will be hosted via Heffel’s digital salesroom broadcast from connected satellite salesrooms in Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver. Absentee, online, and telephone bids will be accepted. 

Below, view our selection of five highlights not to be missed. 


Emily Carr
Cordova Drift (1931)
Estimate $2 Million–3 Million 

Emily Carr, Cordova Drift (1931). Estimate $2,000,000–3,000,000.

Emily Carr, Cordova Drift (1931).

Seven significant works by pioneering Canadian artist Emily Carr are featured in the sale, encompassing the spectrum of her career. Paramount among these stands her 1931 masterpiece Cordova Drift. The painting is a commanding and dramatic depiction of the British Columbia forest and shoreline. Other important examples by Carr on offer include the energetic Maude Island Totem (est. $700,000–900,000) and the swirling forest landscape, Music in the Trees (est. $250,000–350,000).


Paul Kane
Assiniboine Hunting Buffalo (circa 1855)
Estimate $2.5 Million–3.5 Million

Paul Kane, Assiniboine Hunting Buffalo (circa 1855). Estimate $2,500,000–3,500,000.

Paul Kane, Assiniboine Hunting Buffalo (circa 1855).

Paul Kane’s Assiniboine Hunting Buffalo is a famed work in Canadian art history. The painting made by the Irish-born Kane shows two Assiniboine people hunting Buffalo. The dramatic work has been featured extensively in publications related to the artist. 


Lawren Harris
From Sentinel Pass Above Moraine Lake, Rocky Mts.
Estimate $400,000–600,000

Lawren Harris, From Sentinel Pass Above Moraine Lake, Rocky Mts.

Lawren Harris, From Sentinel Pass Above Moraine Lake, Rocky Mts.

Works by Lawren Harris feature prominently in the sale, with six magnificent examples by the Group of Seven artist included. These range from his early illustrations of Toronto’s Ward district to his sought-after scenes of Lake Superior and the Rocky Mountains and his late-career abstractions. The top lot of the group is Harris’s richly rendered From Sentinel Pass Above Moraine Lake, Rocky Mts, which comes to auction directly from the artist’s family.


Tom Thomson
Spring (1916)
Estimate $600,000–800,000

Tom Thomson, Canadian Spring (1916). Courtesy of Heffel.

Tom Thomson, Spring (1916).

Canadian artist Thomas John Thomson produced some 400 oil sketches on wood panel and roughly 50 works on canvas in his intense but all-too-short career. The self-taught artist drowned at the age of 39, shortly before the founding of the seminal Group of Seven. His depictions of the natural beauty of Ontario are characterized by their vivid colors, sweeping brush strokes, and impastoed paint. Embodying the best of his talents, Spring (1916) is a rare and exciting opportunity to own a small piece of Canadian art history. 

Jack Hamilton Bush
Sway #1 (1966)
Estimate $250,000–350,000

Jack Hamilton Bush, Canadian Sway #1 (1966). Estimate $250,000–300,000.

Jack Hamilton Bush, Sway #1 (1966).

Jack Hamilton Bush was a Canadian abstract painter who is closely associated with the Color Field movement. He came to prominence in Canada during the 1960s as a member of Painters Eleven group. Sway #1 is a joy-filled and brightly colorful painting from the 1960s that reflects Bush at his artistic peak. 

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