Friday, October 11, 2019

The Group Of Seven

The Group of Seven were a group of Canadian artists who exhibited together from 1920-33, painting the Canadian landscape and getting out into nature and finding inspiration in the great outdoors. The membership over those years included ten artists, as members came and went. Two other artists, Tom Thomson and Emily Carr, are often associated with them. Thomson died in 1917 by drowning in Algonquin Park, but had a huge influence on his friends before the group was formally founded. Carr first met members of the group in 1927 and drew her influences for much of her work from the indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest. 

The National Gallery has a substantial collection of the Group. March Evening, Northland is a 1914 oil painting by J.E.H. MacDonald.

Above, A.Y. Jackson painted Cacouna in 1921. Below is Thomson's Snow Covered Trees. It dates to 1916.

Lawren Harris was another member of the Group. This is his Winter Morning, a 1914 oil painting.

Some of the Group's paintings are placed in this large space, centred around a traditional Indigenous canoe, which is in and of itself a work of art. Their canvases are in the background.

Here we have another Jackson. March Storm, Georgian Bay is a 1920 oil painting bequested to the Gallery by Doctor James McCallum, a friend and patron of the Group who often invited them to his cottage on the bay.

Here we have a view of the opposite wall. Most of the paintings in that collection are from artists not in the Group.

This one, for instance, is La Caterina, by James Kerr-Lawson. The oil painting was done at some point between 1887-89.

Another Thomson is this one. Moonlight was done by the artist over the winter of 1913-14.

Another example of the mixing of Indigenous and traditional art is close by. This men's shirt was done early in the twentieth century by a Dene artist, incorporating hide, porcupine quills, beads, feathers, paint, and thread.

Gleams On The Hills is the title of this 1921 painting by MacDonald, depicting the Algoma region of northern Ontario in fall.

For today I leave off with a view of the neighbouring space. The three paintings on the wall facing us are works by the same artist, Harris. We'll have a closer look at them tomorrow.


  1. So wonderful. Reminds me of the Laguna Beach Plein Air painters over 100 years ago. It was all about the light.

  2. The paintings depicting winter scenes are so lovely...

  3. Working together is a wonderful thing.

  4. Looking forward to tomorrow's post those are stunning paintings.
    Actually all are beautiful works of art, but that last photo really captured my attention.

  5. Very beautiful!
    I always enjoy when I see a coat that is so old and so well preserved.

  6. I don't know whether you are aware, but Steve Martin is a great champion of The Group of Seven. A friend of mine has an original A. Y. Jackson.

  7. I love the idea of people getting together for the sake of painting art about nature. I'll have to learn more about that group! Thanks for featuring them. Do you have a favorite?


  8. ...this is a fabulous gallery, I like the various items along with the paintings.

  9. I love the stormy pictures and the Native art.

  10. @Lady Fi: very much so.

    @Parsnip: that was their motif.

    @Italiafinlandia: they do indeed.

    @Iris: they brought out the best in each other.

    @Laurie: they did wonderful work.

    @Gemel: thank you!

    @Francisco: thanks!

    @Ella: so do I.

    @David: yes, I knew that. He curated an exhibit of Lawren Harris works a couple of years back. Lucky of your friend.

    @Janis: you're welcome. Of these, I'd say Moonlight.

    @Tom: so do I.

    @Marie: me too.

    @DJan: thanks!

  11. seems the 1920's was a special time for art ~My favorite is Emily Carr ~ she honored your indigenous population ~ Great post and photos ~ ^_^

    Happy Day to You,
    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

  12. not what it is? ...but a scene of the woods, or just leaves, snowy scene is so peaceful to me. love those. ( ;

  13. I have always liked the Group of Seven.

  14. It's interesting that in Canada too painters created a group. It also happened in
    France and Germany. They all have a bit the same style. In Germany the group was called "Der blaue Reiter" the blue rider..

  15. Interesting reading about the 'group of seven' William.. no surprise to know that my fav this post is 'Winter Morning' ✨

  16. I became very interested in Group of Seven when I saw guitars done by luthiers, each inspired by a different "Seven" artist. It's nice to see more of their work.

  17. I think Harris is my favorite of the group but they are all so much of my memory bank that I relate to them all.

  18. That first landscape painting really catches the eye. TWeeted.

  19. Wonderful paintings, especially the winterscenes are beautiful.

  20. All really fine. Moonlight charms me. I'm now a fan of Canadian painters, Thanks William!

  21. I like the style of the Gleams on the Hill painting.

  22. These paintings are beautiful, where reality and design merge, colors and shapes become foremost...not always total realism nor total abstraction!

  23. @Carol: she was a gifted artist.

    @Beth: thank you.

    @Red: I have too.

    @Gattina: other groups of artists have worked together in the same fashion, but the Group is our most renowned.

    @Grace: it's a wonderful one.

    @Jeanie: yes, I remember that!

    @RedPat: I can relate to that.

    @Mari: thank you.

    @Jan: that they are.

    @Cloudia: you're welcome.

    @Sharon: I do too.

    @Barbara: definitely!

  24. Beautiful paintings, William. Thanks for sharing.

  25. I love that canoe. The paintings are lovely, too.

  26. Another nice selection. The museum setting is attractive, too.

  27. A wonderful collection and showing great attention to detail! I am always in awe of their talent.

  28. So many things to enjoy looking at.

  29. A wonderful collection and I have to say I also like the canoe.

  30. Lovely captures of great art. I like the last image, beautiful frame.

  31. I like to see paintings by groups of artists who worked together and influenced each other:)

  32. It was a guided tour there about 25 years ago that led me to really appreciate the Group.

  33. I like the Winter Morning and Gleams on the Hills.

  34. I love the Group of Seven. My favourite... Thomson.

  35. I am glad to see these awesome works of art!!

  36. Beautiful paintings. I especially like 'Moonlight'

    All the best Jan

  37. @Bill: you're welcome.

    @Catalyst: thank you.

    @Kay: it certainly is.

    @Alexandria: me too.

    @Happyone: there are.

    @Michelle: it is a work of art.

    @Magiceye: me too.

    @Rosie: same here.

    @Anvilcloud: guided tours, or chats with docents, give art a completely new take.

    @Joan: they're great paintings.

    @Jennifer: me too.

    @Catarina: he was great.

    @Jenn: as am I.

    @Jan: it's a good one.