Joanne Tod (b.1953) is a renowned Canadian artist and a master of figurative painting, the same caliber, and importance as Alex Colville and Christopher Pratt. 

Throughout her illustrious career, Tod has depicted a wide range of subjects. The human figure, pattern, and interiors have been reoccurring and essential elements of her oeuvre. 

Her depictions of both public and residential spaces are inspired by her innate desire to experiment and stretch the possibility for imagining pictorial spaces. 

One of the several ongoing concerns in Tod's work has been the aesthetics, craftsmanship, and connoisseurship of the decorative arts. For example, her series of paintings of carpet runners, which appear to march off the canvas, is a paradigm.

Over the past 15 years, Tod has depicted an array of vases, reveling in the details, shadowed curves, and intricate reflections on their surfaces. Like the best of her work, Tod offers her signature aesthetic that balances between soft realism and precision. 

"Final Draught" is a striking example of just that. Inspired by a vignette at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Tod was entranced by the resilience of this vessel, its fragile glass surface unscathed, somehow maintaining its integrity throughout millennia. Its pristine condition asks us to consider the historical significance, and remarkable endurance, of this object. Tod shares her curiosity and wonder, questioning the function it may have served in antiquity, and how/why it has endured to now secure a spot on display at the MET.

Furthermore, Tod confronts (and admires) this artifact to examine what the museum represents today; sparking an institutional critique that has become a recurring (yet subtle) motif throughout her oeuvre. 

Click here to see another example, from the earlier part of her career, where she similarly considers the binary of praise and exclusion inherent in museum presentations. 

Today, Joanne Tod's works can be found in most major public institutions across Canada including the National Gallery of Canada, the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO), and the Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal. 

Questions about this piece? Contact us or call +1.416.704.1720

"Final Draught"

Canada, 2010

Oil on canvas

Signed verso

30"H 24"W (work)


Very good condition.

Note: additional images coming soon 

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