William Blair Bruce (Canadian 1859-1906)
Rain in Giverny
oil on canvas, signed lower right "Blair Bruce"
As one of the only Canadians working in Giverny in the 1880’s, Blair Bruce seems to have enjoyed a warm relationship with Claude Monet, who had settled there in 1883, as well as the American painters Robinson and Metcalf. Bruce adopted, as did Theodore Robinson, the French master’s techniques, appreciation of art based on ordinary experience and commitment to expressing the essence of a place. In “Rain in Giverny”, Bruce focused not only on the homely local setting but also included a local farmer’s wife with her sheaf of wheat and her dog working their way home through the rain. The painting is unique in depicting the effect of the rain and wind. You can feel the dog’s impatience and reluctance to leave its master for the tempting warmth of the fireplace.
Mrs. Walkden, Hamilton, Ontario, by 1911
[J. Merritt Maloney’s Gallery, Toronto, Canada, until 1932]
private collection, British Columbia, Canada, 1932
by descent in the family
Spanierman Gallery, New York
Kunstakademien Stockholm, Minnestuställning W. Blair Bruce, 1907, no. 55 (as Regnet. Giverny).
(Possibly) Galeries George Petit, Paris, France, The Exposition Retrospective W. Blair Bruce, May 11-26, 1907, no. 55 (as La pluie. Giverny).
Art Museum of Toronto, Fourth Loan Exhibition: Catalogue of a Loan Collection of Paintings by Deceased Canadian Artists, January 24-February 22, 1911, no. 10 (lent by Mrs. Walkden, Hamilton, Ontario).
Spanierman Gallery, New York, Americans in Giverny, October 15-December 15, 1993.
Spanierman Gallery, LLC, New York, 110 Years of American Art: 1830-1940,
October 15-December 31, 2001.
Musée d’Art Américain Giverny/ Terra Foundation of American Art, Giverny, France, Impressionist Giverny: A Colony of Artists, 1885-1915, April 1–July 1, 2007. Traveled to: San Diego Museum of Art, California, July 22–October1, 2007.
Carol Lowrey. Visions of Light and Air: Canadian Impressionism, 1885-1920. Exh. Cat. New York: Americas Society Art Gallery, 1995, p. 19.
110 Years of American Art: 1830-1940. New York: Spanierman Gallery, LLC, 2001,
p. 49, pl. 39, color illus.
Katherine M. Bourgugnon. Impressionist Giverny: A Colony of Artists, 1885-1915. Ill.: The University of Chicago Press in conjunction with Musée d’Art Américan Giverny / Terra Foundation for American Art, 2007, p. 111 color illus.
Size: 27 x 36 in (with frame 41 ¼ x 48 ½ x 4 ½ in)