OVER ES­TI­MATE

An­other Maude Lewis paint­ing fetches large bid at auc­tion.

Cape Breton Post - - Weekend -

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, N.S., 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.

Rob Cow­ley, pres­i­dent of Con­signor, said in a news re­lease that the re­cent biopic most cer­tainly was a fac­tor in boost­ing the price for her paint­ings.

“Maud Lewis al­ways had a cult fol­low­ing for her dis­tinc­tive art, but when celebrity pop cul­ture aligns to con­trib­ute to an artist’s nar­ra­tive, it pro­vides an in­stant ap­pre­ci­a­tion for their works of art,” said Cow­ley.

THE CANA­DIAN PRESS/HO- CON­SIGNOR CANA­DIAN FINE ART

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. The paint­ing fetched $36,800 at the Con­signor Cana­dian Fine Art auc­tion event Thurs­day in Toronto.

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