“If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost;
that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.”
– Henry David Thoreau
“Castles in the Sky”
Oil on canvas. c1930s.
Signed “Will James,” 14 x 18 in.
Oil paintings by Will James are rare.
This one is expected to sell for $25,000 to $30,000.
Joseph Ernest Nephtali Dufault,
later to be known as Will James, was born on June 6, 1892, in Quebec, Canada. At a young age, he traveled to the United States, drifting and working primarily as a cowboy. He served in the army and then began selling his sketches.
In 1920 he married and had a brief period of study at Yale University.
Will James wrote and illustrated 23 books. His illustrations appeared in his own books as well as the works of many other authors. He spent his final years on his “Rocking R Ranch” in Pryor Creek, Montana.
Will James saw movies made from his books.
Despite his success as a novelist and artist, James served a short prison term for rustling, experienced an unpleasant marriage, and had a severe alcohol dependency.
His life ended at the early age of 50 in 1942
(Courtesy: AskART).