Artist Robert Jacox Campbell
Title Untitled - Edmonton Back Alley
Media watercolour and graphite on paper
Size 7.5 x 6.75 in. / 19 x 17.1 cm.
Frame Size 12.5 x 11.5 x 1 in.
Sold $100 Estimate $300 - $400
LOT OF TWO; signed and dated lower left; inscribed '2nd St. and 2nd Ave. where J. Eaton store was located' on backing; framed
lot includes Edmonton: A History, published by The Edmonton Art Gallery
private collection, Edmonton
Robert Jacox Campbell ~ [1883-] Scottish/Canadian
listed on Alberta Foundation for the Arts website: Robert Campbell was born in 1883 in Dumbarton, Scotland, where he later served as an apprentice in the building trades. After immigrating to Canada in 1906 at the age of 22, he settled in Alberta to practice his trade. He served in World War I and was stationed for a while in England, where he attended art classes under the direction of the English watercolourist Victor W. Burnand. Burnand imparted to Campbell a strong appreciation for the British watercolour tradition and upon returning to Canada after the War, Campbell resumed his regular profession, but spent his spare time sketching and painting. A charter member of the Edmonton Art Club, and for a time, a member of the Alberta Society of Artists, he studied at the Alberta School of Fine Arts under British-born Alberta artist A.C. Leighton. He later played an important part in the founding of the Banff School of Fine Arts. Robert Campbell was best known for his watercolour paintings, although he also worked with oil, pastel, clay-modelling and block printing. His favourite subject was the natural environment, and he spent many hours in nature painting the mountains, lakes and rural scenes of Western Canada. His paintings have a natural, unaffected quality deriving from his traditional training, and he was not interested in abstraction or non-objective art, which he felt isolated man from his environment. Although he did not sell many of his paintings during his lifetime because he regarded them as primarily a visual diary of his life, his work was widely collected after his death and has been shown extensively in public exhibitions.