Group of Seven painting breaks auction records

On today’s date in 1981, Lawren Harris’ painting South Shore, Baffin Island sold for $240,000 – a record for a Canadian painting.

Canada Post issued this 15-cent stamp commemorating Harris' painting in 1969.

Canada Post issued this 15-cent stamp commemorating Harris’ painting in 1969.

In 1969, Canada Post commemorated another Harris painting, Bylot Island, with a 15-cent stamp (CS Scott # 463). Printed by the Canadian Bank Note Company, the dull purple stamp has 12 perforations and Winnipeg two-bar tagging.

In 1995, Canada Post again commemorated Harris’ work – this time a painting called From the North Shore, Lake Superior – with a 43-cent stamp (CS # 1559). Printed by the Canadian Bank Note Company on fluorescent coated paper, which it uses instead of tagging, the stamp has 13.5 perforations.

When South Shore, Baffin Island was purchased in 1981, it was the most valuable painting to sell at auction in Canada at the time. Harris (born Oct. 23, 1885 ad died Jan. 29, 1970) was a Canadian painter born in Brantford, Ont.

Another Harris painting was commemorated on this 43-cent stamp issued by Canada Post in 1995.

Another Harris painting was commemorated on this 43-cent stamp issued by Canada Post in 1995.

He was one of the best known landscape painters of the Group of Seven, a group of artists who set out to create a distinctly Canadian art, in which he pioneered a distinctly Canadian painting style in the early twentieth century.

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