Paintings by insulin discoverer Banting auctioned in U.K.
Two paintings by Sir Frederick Banting sold for thousands at an international fine art auction in London, England on Wednesday.
The late artist is most renowned for co-discovering insulin, and won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1923, sharing the award with J.J.R. Macleod.
Banting was dubbed a national hero for his discovery. Soon after his love for painting grew and now his work is recognized around the world.
Two of his pieces were sold Wednesday at a Bonhams Travel and Exploration auction.
Auctioneer Rhyanon Demery says "We've never actually had that many Canadian pieces in our show before, and they've all come from private U.K. owners. The Bantings especially have come from the same owner."
A painting titled "Georgian Bay, Ontario" sold for $34,900 and another "Canadian Rockies, Alberta" sold for $21,800.
Both pieces are typical examples of Canadian landscapes and sold close to their auction estimates of between $17,000 and $26,000 each.
Demery adds they're "Just lovely paintings. They represent Canada, the Canadian landscape, and just the fact that he's a well known man in terms of medicine."
The largest installation of Banting's permanent works can be found at London, Ontario's Banting House, and it's also the city where Banting was first inspired to paint.
Grant Maltman, curator of Banting House, explains "[He] saw a painting on Dundas Street at an art store and thought to himself, 'I could do one just as well.' [He] walked into an art store and unfortunately buys water-colour brushes, oil paints and tries drawing pictures from magazines, so they weren't very good."
It didn't take long for Banting to improve, but he wasn't trying to impress anyone, just escape and express himself, Maltman says.
"Banting was good friends with members of the Group [of Seven] - Arthur Lismer was there, Lawren Harris. It shows you how small this country was at that time in the 20s and 30s...I don't think anyone necessarily inspired him to paint, for him it was just his own sense of creativity."
Banting died in February 1941 in a Newfoundland air disaster while serving as a Second World War medical services liaison officer.
With files from The Canadian Press