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Item Name: Painting
Title: Springtime on the Prairie (Vanishing Snowdrifts)
Maker: Inglis Sheldon-Williams
Year: 1928
Country: Canadian
Materials: oil on canvas
Measurements: overall: 68 cm x 87 cm
ID Number: PC83.1.53
Legal Status: PERMANENT COLLECTION


Extended Label Info: An immigrant to Saskatchewan in 1887, Inglis Sheldon-Williams contributed greatly to the fabric of the arts community through his depictions of Canadian life and as an official Canadian war artist in World War I. His work reflects a Canadian identity with a focus on landscapes and rural working life that is rendered through quiet and soulful interpretations. It is hard to imagine that just over a century ago, Saskatchewan was a province where horses, not cars provided transportation. This painting depicts a slushy spring day, as a team of horses pull a sleigh over melting snow. Drawn by horses or oxen, it cultivated the earth one furrow at a time. (Henry) Inglis (Jodrell) Sheldon-Williams (1879-1940) was born in Hampshire, England. The son of a landscape painter, Sheldon-Williams immigrated to Canada in 1887 with his mother and sister settling in Cannington Manor, Saskatchewan. He returned to England to study art at the Slade School of Art, after which he traveled extensively in South Africa, India and Europe, producing drawings and watercolor illustrations that were published in London periodicals. In 1899, he joined the British army and served in South Africa, during which time he also produced drawings and illustrations of scenes from the war. In 1913, Sheldon-Williams returned to Saskatchewan, settling in Regina, where he met Norman MacKenzie, a prominent lawyer and art collector who became a strong supporter of Sheldon-Williams, who was regularly commissioned to paint portraits of many prominent Canadians. In 1916, he helped establish the Art Department at Regina College but left to serve as an official Canadian war artist. He remained in Europe after the war.