Thursday, January 21, 2016

The Group Of Seven

There is a considerable portion of the Gallery's Canadian space given over to Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven. These artists organized after the First World War, expressing their view of Canada often through views of nature, exhibiting together. You can learn more about them here. The original members of the Group, Lawren Harris, Franklin Carmichael, A.Y. Jackson, Arthur Lismer, J.E.H. Macdonald, Franz Johnston, and F.H. Varley, are all represented here in the Gallery, and are incredibly influential to Canadian art in the 20th century. Their numbers would have been eight; Thomson, their fellow artist and friend, who inspired them in terms of exposing them to the great outdoors, died in 1917 in a drowning incident in Algonquin Park, and because of that connection, he is often grouped with the Seven. Here are a number of their small canvases- the artists would paint these in the field before returning home to their studios to transfer their ideas to larger canvases.

This is Jackson's The Red Maple, which was based along a stretch of the Oxtongue River in Algonquin Park.

The Drive is a work by Lawren Harris, who has been in the news recently- the actor and comedian Steve Martin, who has a couple of Harris paintings- curated a special exhibition on the artist in Los Angeles.

Another Jackson, this one is entitled Frozen Lake, Early Spring, Algonquin Park.

And this one is by Thomson, entitled Pine Island, Georgian Bay.

This last painting is by Emily Carr, entitled Indian Hut, Queen Charlotte Islands. Carr, another highly influential artist of Canada's 20th century, was associated with the Group of Seven, and her own work takes a modernist and post-impressionist style. The First Nations of the Pacific Coast were a regular subject for her art, and you can learn more about her here.


  1. very much like the natural scenes.

  2. Famous group of Canadian painters.Tom Thomson and his Jack Pine.


  3. You certainly have a great place to visit at any time of the year and certainly a great choice when it is cold out.

  4. Really nice showcase again. I remember seeing a number of their works at the AGO in Toronto. I always wanted make it to the McMichael gallery, but never did. :(

  5. What a great group and a great story for Canadian artists. I'll take Pine Island by Thomson!


  6. @Tex: so do I.

    @Cloudia: you're welcome.

    @Tomas: the Jack Pine is one of the Gallery's paintings.

    @Lauren: it certainly is.

    @Halcyon: I have been to the McMichael but it's been years.

    @Janis: Thomson had great style.

    @Luis: thanks!

    @Marianne: indeed.

    @Hilary: they are.

  7. love the blowing trees painting. snow is coming - we will see? have a great weekend, William. ( :

  8. These are wonderful paintings again, William. As a child of the winter I prefer the painting "Frozen Lake" above the others.

  9. I always liked the group of seven. There's so much we don't see because collectors have it.

  10. I knew that Steve Martin was a big art lover and promoter and that he has a special affection for Edward Hopper. I hadn't heard of this artist but I did a quick search and saw some wonderful paintings. this particular one is beautiful but, it certainly seems to be a different style than some of his other works. There are a lot of treasures in this museum.

  11. @Beth: their style was very vivid. I'll definitely show more from here on occasion.

    @Furry Gnome: so do I!

    @Jan: I can see that.

    @Norma: they certainly are.

    @Red: a good deal of the public collection can be found here, the Art Gallery of Ontario, and the McMichael Gallery. There are more of them in public collections, I know, but a good number of these paintings ended up in private collections.

    @Sharon: I was surprised some months ago that Martin had an appreciation for Harris, and that his interest in art in general was that strong.

  12. Glad to ler a lot about this group, the paintings are beautiful!

  13. Those are beautiful! I love The Red Maple very much.

  14. As you can imagine, the last one is my favourite...

  15. A wonderful selection of their work, William!

  16. @VP: they had real talent.

    @Nancy: thanks!

    @Tamago: it's one of my favourites from these artists. Perhaps because I've spent time along that river.

    @Orvokki: indeed!

    @Denise: thanks!

    @Linda: I agree.

    @Marleen: I figured people would enjoy their work.

    @Ciel: entirely understandable. Emily Carr is a national treasure.

    @RedPat: thank you!

  17. Fantastic work William, such talent..I loved yesterday's painting of The Trustees...I did try to leave a comment but it seemed to have disappeared into thin air...anyway Fabulousl pictures...

  18. I loved Emily Carr's painting; the form, the colors, and the imagery.

  19. Birch and winter are like toast and jam.

  20. These are wonderful paintings. I'd love to see them in person!
    Emily Carr is a big presence in Victoria, not the least bit being her home there which has been preserved.

  21. I love the trees on Pine Island.

  22. Wonderful Canadian paintings.

  23. I am not familiar with these artists, but I would love to see the exhibition.

  24. I love this group! I knew someone with an original. I forget who that was... sigh.

  25. @Geoff: sometimes that happens.

    @Mari: I love her work.

    @Revrunner: true!

    @Kay: I'd love to see her home and works exhibited in Victoria.

    @Linda: I do too.

    @Carolann: definitely.

    @Jack: I enjoy my visits.

    @Jennifer: to get your hands on an original!