"Early Snow, Alberta"
A.Y. Jackson, "Early Snow, Alberta," 1937. Image courtesy Sotheby’s Canada.
NATIONAL ANTHEM IN PAINT
Canada’s Group of Seven painted a spirited wilderness strikingly different from the then-popular pastoral landscapes. The group found inspiration in the work of Tom Thomson, who died in 1917 while urging his friends to create an aesthetic unique to the Canadian wilderness. Formed in 1920, the Group’s rocky shores, stormy lakes and wild places portrayed Canada as no others had. In doing so, they created a vision of Canada as a northern country. Later, their participation on art advisory boards for public institutions ensured that this vision enjoyed widespread exposure.
In The Group of Seven and Tom Thomson (Firefly, $85), author David Silcox traces the history and politics of the 11 artists who eventually comprised the Group of Seven and influenced the visual perception of Canadians for generations. Silcox is managing director of Sotheby’s Canada and an art historian, cultural administrator and Senior Fellow at Massey College. Organized by region and subject matter, the 448-page book features 369 colour paintings, a third of which are reproduced for the first time.