Alex Colville


Alex Colville (1920–2013) is one of the titans of Canadian art, renowned for his atmospheric depictions of family life, domestic animals and scenes of Atlantic Canada. Working across several mediums, he is a revered painter, draughtsman, engraver and muralist, and is one of the few Canadian artists whose auction record is above $2 million.

Despite a degree of gentle familiarity throughout his oeuvre, his work is often characterized by a visceral sense of mystery.

This evocative and erotic study features a woman portaging a canoe in solitude. With the exception of ripples surrounding her legs, the water remains remarkably still as she wades through, her back illuminated in the sun.

A set of parallel lines are detailed across the page, acting as a tool to navigate the perspective of this composition. This unique inclusion offers a glimpse into the artists process and planning for the final painting.

“Study for Woman Carrying Canoe” presents the rare opportunity to acquire an important and well known study by one of Canadas most esteemed artists.

Today, Colvilles work is enjoyed internationally in collections of major institutions and galleries around the world, including the Art Gallery of Ontario, Centre Georges Pompidou (Paris), Museum Boymans-van Beuningen (Rotterdam) and the Museum Ludwig (Cologne).

Questions about this piece? Contact us or call +1.416.704.1720 

Study for Woman Carrying Canoe

Canada, 1972

Pen, wash, and acrylic

Signed and dated bottom right

9.75H 12.75W (sheet)

23.2524.5W (framed)

Fischer Fine Art Ltd. (London, UK) label verso

Very good condition

Provenance: this work was purchased by our client in September 1974 from Fischer Fine Art Limited (London, UK). It includes the original bill of sale, correspondence from the gallery as well as British and Canadian customs documents. 

Note: $25,000 CAD


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