FRANKLIN MILTON ARMINGTON
MIDNIGHT SUN OF ABISKO, SWEDEN
oil on canvas
signed; also signed and titled on the reverse
28.5 ins x 36 ins; 72.4 cms x 91.4 cms
Despite surprisingly limited success in Canada, Frank Armington’s (1876-1941) work was enormously popular with American buyers, many of whom he met while living in Paris, which after World War I was a very popular destination for American travellers wanting to experience the thrill of Europe. The American dollar was strong against the French currency and even a limited budget stretched far and afforded an enriched experience. Armington and his wife, Caroline, also exhibited widely in the U.S. while, according to Janet Braide, “Canadian tax law regarding the importation of artworks effectively discouraged the sale of their work in their native land.” It is not surprising, therefore, that this work was found in a private collection in California.
The Armingtons travelled extensively while in Europe, including a visit to Sweden in 1928. Abisko, whose enchanting landscape is depicted in this lot, is a small, remote village in northern Sweden’s Lappland province, located within the Arctic Circle. The area is mountainous and only sparsely inhabited. Abisko is accessible by train from Stockholm and attracts hikers and other visitors as it is known to be an excellent place to view the Northern Lights.
Janet Braide and Nancy Parke-Taylor,Caroline and Frank Armington: Canadian Painter-Etchers in Paris, Art Gallery of Peel, 1990, pages xii and 59.
Private Collection, California