FREDERICK JOSEPH ROSS, R.C.A.
TRIPTYCH: STILL LIFES WITH RECLINING NUDE
the central panel signed
Overall (open) 28.25 ins x 60.5 ins; 71.8 cms x 153.7 cms
A native of Saint John, New Brunswick, artist Fred Ross was encouraged by his teacher, Ted Campbell, to experience the world of art and ideas outside of his east coast home. As a result, Ross travelled to Mexico in 1950 and befriended Mexican muralist Diego Rivera. Ross approached Rivera while he was working on a mural at the Palacio Nacional in Mexico City and was invited onto his scaffolding to sketch the artist at work. These sketches are now housed at The National Gallery of Canada. Aided by this hands-on experience and the encouragement of Rivera, Ross was able to affirm his artistic direction and establish himself as a post-war figurative artist.
Often using his wife and children as models, Ross’s paintings reflect a timeless humanism, as can be seen in Triptych: Still Lifes with Reclining Nude. A sense of mysticism is also evoked with the artful use of a triptych and the placement of interesting objects around the angelic female figure. The rusting tuba, the potted ferns and folds of drapery draw the eye into a scene of dreamy solitude. The depiction of a single seashell and a carafe on the doors of the triptych, as well as within the central scene of the painting, leave the viewer pondering the artist’s sentiment.
Private Collection, Toronto