A note to members of City Daily Photo: the theme day for the first of February is White. For my take on that theme, I can only borrow a phrase and say, Brace yourselves. Winter is coming.
Carrying on with this visit to the National Gallery, The Group of Seven was a collection of landscape artists who actively exhibited together from 1920- 1933. There were ten of them in all, as members came and went, and a couple of other prominent Canadian artists, Tom Thomson and Emily Carr, are often associated with them. Thomson, whose death came before the foundation of the group, was a significant influence on them. Many of their works can be found here at the National Gallery, the Art Gallery of Ontario, the McMichael gallery, and other places across Canada. The artists would often take small sketch canvases out in the field to capture what they saw, transferring and adapting thier ideas onto larger canvases in their studios over the winters.
J.E.H. MacDonald was one of the founders, and this 1915 painting, Snowbound, reflects the influences of a Swedish artist, Gustaf Fjaestad, who was known in Europe for his depictions of winter. MacDonald captures the nuances of colour and light in the snowy landscape.
Nearby is a large gallery space, named for a donor, with a traditional birchbark Indigenous canoe at its heart and works of the Group of Seven and other artists around it.
A.Y. Jackson, another member of the Group, painted March Storm, Georgian Bay in 1920.
Here we have another perspective of this space. There are enough assembled paintings on that wall that it is easier to place brochures with the painting names and artists at either end, as opposed to the usual panel beside one. They make for quite a sight against the canoe in the foreground.
Here we have another MacDonald. The Solemn Land is a 1921 oil painting depicting the Montreal River valley in the Algoma region of northern Ontario. The accompanying panel notes that Algoma was a particular interest for MacDonald, and that Jackson had said, "I always think of Algoma as MacDonald's country."
Arthur Lismer was another member of the Group. This 1921 oil painting is titled A September Gale, Georgian Bay, and true to the motif of the Group, the aim is to not only show what a place looked like, but how it felt.
Here we see another angle of the space.
Lawren Harris was another member of the Group. This 1921 oil painting is Beaver Pond. Harris had an interest in how the beaver altered its surroundings, and depicts a scene at Birch Lake in Algoma.
Pine Island, Georgian Bay is the title of this painting developed between 1914-16. Tom Thomson, who met his end by drowning in Canoe Lake, Algonquin Park in 1917, painted this over that period of time, his own style evolving. The lone pine motif was something that he would use from time to time in his art, which I'll show again tomorrow.
For today I finish off with another Jackson. November is the simple title of this 1922 oil painting, depicting a place in the Algoma region in late fall.