Tuesday, January 9, 2018

A Return To The Gallery

In December I paid a visit to the National Gallery of Canada, and so over the next few days we're going to be looking at art. The Canadian gallery section had been closed in my previous visits for a major reorganization, and opened again in time for Canada Day 2017. The concept of that reorganization was to take indigenous art from First Nations artists and blend them in with the more conventional European influenced canvases and sculptures from Canadian artists, as opposed to what had been before in the Gallery- a separation of the two. 

The first thing one sees upon entering is a large gallery space, with First nations artifacts grouped together before you.

This is one of the first works that greets the visitor. The artist lessLIE is from the Coast Salish First Nation, and titles this wHOLE w(((h)))orl(((d))). It is a 2013 acrylic incorporating traditional motifs and subjects- the person, salmon, wolves, and thunderbirds, in the spirit of what are called spindle whorls.

Armoured Whale is the title of this 2014 coloured pencil and black ink work by Tim Pitsiulak, an Inuit artist of the far north.

Here we have an example of blending of cultures- religious artifacts from churches are in the background here, while traditional First Nations attire are encased closer to the viewer.

The courtyard garden was also redone during this time. Here we have one view of it.

Theophile Hamel painted this 1854 oil portrait, Henriette Massue Le Moine. 

Cornelius Krieghoff has several works represented in the Gallery. White Horse Inn By Moonlight is an 1851 oil painting capturing a country inn and an arriving horse drawn sleigh in the night.

This is another Krieghoff, an oil painting done in 1858. The Chaudiere captures the Chaudiere Falls on the Ottawa River, not that far upstream from the Gallery, as it appeared in his time.

I leave off with Josephte Ourne, a portrait from around 1840 by Quebec artist Joseph Legare, showing the daughter of an indigenous chief. 


  1. A lot of information to process in this post, but it's most interesting and informative. I appreciate most everything you've shown but my favorite is the painting by Krieghoff, The Whitehorse Inn by Moonlight. And it is the light, mostly, that gives focus to his genius.

  2. A very nice courtyard garden and lovely paintings!

  3. I have a Canadian soapstone sculpture of a whale done by an Innuit artist, and bought over 40 years ago - I love their work.

  4. Interesting and informative, thanks for showing this, William !

  5. I love the shape of the ceiling. It is as if you are inside a canoe!


  6. ...a place that I'd love to visit.

  7. Hello, beautiful art work and museum. Happy Tuesday, enjoy your day.

  8. @Lowell: it's very distinctive.

    @Lady Fi: I definitely think so.

    @Nancy: it certainly is.

    @Rosemary: my parents bought one at the time, and it's been displayed in a cabinet since.

    @Francisco: thanks!

    @Karl: you're welcome.

    @Janis: that's true.

    @Tom: it's well worth visiting.

    @Eileen: thank you!

    @Beth: definitely.

  9. Beautiful artwork William.. reminds me it's about time I went to the art gallery again!

  10. I especially love the artwork of indigenous peoples everywhere so I enjoyed this post very much.

  11. Surprised you are allowed to photograph in the gallery. So it's nice that you are allowed to take photos and then post them to your blog.

  12. I have always enjoyed First Nations art. We spent summers on Vancouver Island when I was a kid and got to see a lot of it. Maybe why I like it to this day. Neat to see inside the Gallery!

  13. Just imagine what it would have been like to travel by sleigh.

  14. I really like that whorl, William!

  15. Beautiful pieces and I love the entry William!

  16. It's beautiful, I specially like the first three shots.

  17. Beautiful. We hope to get to that gallery this year!

  18. @Christine: that one was mesmerizing.

    @Grace: I find museums and galleries particularly good in the slower time of year, from the photoblogger's point of view.

    @Sharon: there is a lot of that mixed throughout the collection.

    @Red: they made allowances around several years ago. Two rules: no flash photography, and when a display indicates no photos, you don't take photos. For instance, there are a couple of Klimts on loan to the gallery for a three year period. They're both marked as no photos.

    @Jenn: it is a marvelous place to visit.

    @Revrunner: a different world in many ways.

    @Whisk: it is!

    @RedPat: so did I.

    @Tanya: I do as well.

    @Jan: thank you!

    @Marie: you'll enjoy it.

  19. I like the piece in your 2nd photo!

  20. White Horse Inn By Moonlight is a stunning painting and my favorite. Nice post, William.

  21. Beautiful. Lanny and I visited the Salish museum on the coast of Washington. The thunderbird was in several of the art works as was the salmon.

  22. Beautiful gallery ~ great shots ~ favorite is the first one ~ the elegance and colors are divine.

    Happy Week to you,
    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

  23. Celebrate your historical uniqueness!

  24. I really like the First Nations pieces. I'd not known that those round pieces are called spindle whorls. I've always found them compelling.

  25. Thanks for sharing all these. You must have spent hours and hours photographing them.

  26. I find it good to note that people now rely on photos, stare at them for a long time, while these artists had to have a better mind's eye.

    1. They'd sketch, in preparation, I think. And old photos, people would have to stand still for a moment.

  27. Enjoyed reading the information in your post, some lovely art pieces here too.

    All the best Jan

  28. Very informative post. Thank you for sharing.

  29. @Marleen: so do I.

    @Bill: thank you!

    @Mari: there's a lot of symbolism in that first work, including animals.

    @Carol: thank you!

    @Catalyst: so do I.

    @Cloudia: indeed!

  30. @Kay: I had another look at it during my most recent visit.

    @Linda: you're welcome!

    @Jennifer: a lot of artists did quick sketches in the field in preparation if they were doing a landscape, for instance.

    @Norma: so do I.

    @Jan: thank you!

    @Klara: you're welcome.