Lewis paint­ing sells for five times es­ti­mate

Cape Breton Post - - Cape Breton/province -

A Maud Lewis paint­ing has been sold for well above its preauc­tion es­ti­mate for the sec­ond time in a month.

The Nova Sco­tia artist’s “Three Black Cats’’ fetched $36,800 at the Con­signor Cana­dian Fine Art live spring auc­tion Thurs­day at the Gar­diner Mu­seum in Toronto.

Auc­tion of­fi­cials say the sell­ing price was five times the es­ti­mate.

Two of her other paint­ings also were up for auc­tion but sold for lower prices than ex­pected: “Chil­dren Walk­ing in the Snow’’ sold for $8,050 and “Win­ter Sleigh­ing Scene’’ sold for $7,475.

Ear­lier this month, a paint­ing re­cently dis­cov­ered at an On­tario thrift store by Lewis, en­ti­tled “Por­trait of Eddie Barnes and Ed Mur­phy, Lob­ster Fish­er­men,’’ sold for $45,000 in an on­line auc­tion — al­most three times its es­ti­mated price.

Lewis, who lived in poverty for most of her life, sold paint­ings from her home near Digby, for as lit­tle as $2 and $3. She died in 1970, but her paint­ings have since sold for more than $20,000. Two of her works were or­dered by the White House dur­ing Richard Nixon’s pres­i­dency af­ter Lewis achieved wide­spread at­ten­tion.

The Cana­dian artist has been the sub­ject of a re­cent biopic star­ring Os­car-nom­i­nated ac­tors Ethan Hawke and Sally Hawkins.

Hawkins is get­ting crit­i­cal ac­claim for her por­trayal of Lewis, who per­se­vered through ju­ve­nile rheuma­toid arthri­tis, poverty and ill treat­ment from her loved ones.

The movie, which is set in Nova Sco­tia and was filmed in New­found­land, has also re­ceived crit­i­cal ac­claim at var­i­ous fes­ti­vals around the world and cap­tured the Super Chan­nel Peo­ple’s Choice award at the Van­cou­ver In­ter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val. It be­came a block­buster on the East Coast, with peo­ple lin­ing up around the block at some the­atres when it was re­leased in April.

CP PHOTO

The Maud Lewis paint­ing “Three Black Cats” is shown in a handout photo. For the sec­ond time in a month a Maude Lewis paint­ing has been sold for five times a pre-auc­tion es­ti­mate. It fetched $36,800 at the Con­signor Cana­dian Fine Art live spring auc­tion event this week at the Gar­diner Mu­seum in Toronto.

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