Maud Lewis painting fetches nearly $37K at Toronto auction

Another Maud Lewis painting has sold for well above estimates: the Nova Scotia artist's Black Cats fetched $36,800 at the Consignor Canadian Fine Art auction Thursday in Toronto.

Sold for 5 times the auction estimate, according to Consignor

Maudie, a recent biographical film about Maud Lewis, has revived interest in the Nova Scotia artist and her work coming up at auction. (Duncan Deyoung/Mongrel Media)

A Maud Lewis painting has been sold for well above its pre-auction estimate for the second time in a month.

The Nova Scotia artist's Black Cats fetched $36,800 at the Consignor Canadian Fine Art live spring auction event Thursday at the Gardiner Museum in Toronto.

Three Black Cats sold at the Consignor Canadian Fine Art spring auction in Toronto for $36,800. (Consignor Canadian Fine Art)

Auction officials say the selling price was five times the auction estimate.

Two other of her paints 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 Fishermensold 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.

Lewis, seen in this file photo, lived in poverty for most of her life and sold paintings from her tiny home near Digby, N.S., for as little as $2 and $3. She died in 1970. (Art Gallery of Nova Scotia)

The Canadian artist has been the subject of a 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 film, which is set in Nova Scotia and 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 in the East Coast, with people lining up around the block at some theatres when it was released in April.

'Attracted to her passion:' Maudie paints onscreen portrait of Maud Lewis

6 years ago
Duration 2:29
Nearly 50 years after her death, Maud Lewis is having a moment. Sally Hawkins and Ethan Hawke star in a new film that brings the Canadian artist's life to the big screen.

Rob Cowley, the 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.