Lucius O'Brien P.R.C.A.

Off Hastings, Waiting for a Wind, 1889

watercolour on paper
13x21 in.
$8,800 Cdn.

The Canadian Fine Arts Gallery Ltd., Toronto
Private collection, Calgary

Hastings, rendered in this O’Brien watercolour, is a seaside town in East Sussex, England. It is a major fishing port, and in the Victorian era, it became a popular seaside destination for tourists. In 1889, Lucius O’Brien attended his first one-man exhibition of works in England, comprised of Rocky Mountain scenes that he had completed during his travels on the Canada Pacific Railway (1). The works were received favorably, and for the length of the exhibition, June to November 1889, O’Brien stayed in England. Here, he found time to sketch around Sussex, Cornwall and North Devon (2), and the artist exhibited almost exclusively English subjects over the next year upon his return to Canada.

1. The Montreal Gazette, 15 August 1899, Mr. O’Brien’s Pictures Favorably Received in London, p. 2
2. Reid, Dennis, Our Own Country Canada, p. 423

Lucius O’Brien (1832 – 1899) Lucius O’Brien was born in Shanty Bay, Ontario. He attended the Upper Canada College in Toronto. He received training in Architecture but was self-taught as a painter. O’Brien was vice president of OSA from 1873 to 1880 and became the first president of the RCA…