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Langley Donges (1901-1992)
Magnotta Canadian Passito Vidal VQA [no longer available]
Passito, which means 'withered grapes', is an Italian-style, creamy dessert wine. To achieve its luscious, sweet flavour, grapes are left on the vine past the typical harvest date, hand picked as late as possible in the fall and naturally dried before being crushed. The beautiful fall scene and rich colours in this painting remind me of the Passito way of making this aromatically intense wine. - RM
Born in Toronto, Langley Donges was best known as a landscape painter, working in watercolours, oils, acrylics and pastels. He had a natural talent for drawing as a child. At the age of 21 he began to study art seriously at the Ontario College of Art where he was awarded a scholarship. To finance most of his studies, he had to rely on a part-time job. It took 10 years to complete requirements for his degree. He attended classes at the college every day until noon and did his assignments in the afternoon before reporting for work as an artist at the Mail & Empire. Later he worked for the Telegram. His other jobs included making and repairing wax figures for Eden House Wax Works in New York, building papier maché dragons for the T. Eaton Company parades and mak ing theatrical costumes. Having decided on landscapes, Donges travelled extensively in search of subjects in Europe, Mexico, Canada, the U.S. and the Orient. His niece June Donges Holloway described him in these words: "He painted in the rain, in the sunshine and even in the snow, dressed in an old Flying Suit in the dead of Winter! His paintings have the magical quality of exuding great warmth and light." Donges passed away at the age of 91. Source: Canadian Heritage Information Network