BARKER FAIRLEY, R.C.A.
oil on masonite
signed; also signed, titled and dated 1958 on the reverse
30 ins x 40 ins; 76.2 cms x 101.6 cms
Barker Fairley (1887-1986) was a fiery and inspiring teacher of German literature, a writer and also a poet. He was one of Canada’s most renowned scholars on Goethe, a writer who, among other things, wrote about the complexities of the human spirit.
It seems inevitable that Fairley was drawn to portraiture. Through the course of his half century of painting (he lived to be 99), Fairley sought the essential makings of humanness, what he called “the human outlook” through his art, painting everyone he knew, children, grandchildren, neighbors, friends, colleagues as well as strangers.
Trio, which depicts the wife and two daughters of artist Aba Bayefsky (see lot 31), were among his circle of friends.
Gary Michael Dault, Barker Fairley Portraits, Methuen Publications, Agincourt, Ontario, 1981, pages IX-XVIII.
Private Collection, Toronto