Object Title
The Water Pail
Object Name
David Brown Milne
Date Made
Oil on Canvas
Catalogue Number

Length 61.0 cm x Height 45.7 cm


A still life painting of a silver water pail and a bowl with flowers. In the lower left corner foreground is a silver mug, with a grey tabletop in the rest of the immediate foreground. In the near middle ground is a silver metal bucket with its handle up and tilted to the right, to the right of the pail is a rimmed white bowl with small white and red-toned flowers and large green lance-like leaves in it. Behind the bowl to the right is what appears to be a stack of books. In the background to the left of the water pail the edge of a second pail may be seen. The remainder of the background is dark. The painting is signed "David Milne 1936" in black paint in the bottom centre of the image. The painting is housed in a 20th century grey-toned wood frame with a plain back edge, fillet and cove top edge, astragal, plain beveled frieze, double astragal to narrow linen sight edge.


David Brown Milne (1882-1953) was a relatively unknown artist in Canada until 1934. He began his artistic career as an illustrator in New York City in the early 1900s and later returned to Canada. Milne’s work was influenced by French Impressionism; Claude Monet is often cited as a major influence. Milne was dedicated to empowering the simplest objects with stately stature and reducing a painting to its essential elements. We can see that process in The Water Pail, 1936 where a simple arrangement of household objects is given notable status.