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Vol. I. 



Designers :: Tri tilers :: Tublishers 


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A Portfolio of Canadian Art 



HE production of a portfolio of coloured reproductions of 
pictures descriptive of the development of Canadian art, is 
something of an event and is a most valuable contribution 
^^^^^^ to the existing information on the subject. It is a recogni- 
tion that Canadian art is beginning to possess a history worth recording 
and goes far to prove that certain artistic qualities, based upon climatic 
and geographic conditions, are dehnitely emerging. 
C The earhest expression of art in Canada was based, naturally enough, 
upon the European tradition, since the earhest Canadian artists were 
either European born or entirely European trained. This European 
tradition was, however, quickly used, particularly by Paul Kane and 
Cornelius Kreighoff, for the expression of such intensely Canadian ideas 
as "The Life of the Western Indians" and of the "Quebec Habitant," 
and the foundations of a distinctly Canadian art were thereby laid. 

No one has pioneered in Canada more faithfully and effectively than 
have these artists— all the way from Kreighoff to Tom Thomson — 
and the fruits of their work are becoming increasingly plain to see in 
the growth of something approximating to a Canadian school or 
manner of painting, which is being received with the greatest interest 
and appreciation wherever it is seen— at home or abroad. 
' It is to be hoped that such a pubhcation as this is only the first of a 
series which will gradually reproduce all the finest examples of Canadian 
painting, and so carry a greater knowledge of it into many places where 
the pictures themselves cannot be seen. 

Artistic genius or talent is never confined to places or classes — it is 
universal— and is as Hkely to appear in the forest as under the shadow 
of the art school. Such reproductions may, therefore, accompHsh a 
work of the greatest value in stirring into actual accomphshment 
some latent consciousness of artistic ability, which lack of opportunity 
so frequently quenches. 



By i(ind permissum of the \atioiwl GuJJm* 
of Canaid 


|HERE is a growing tendency to credit Cornelius Kreighoff 
with being the pioneer interpreter of the Canadian land- 
scape. Oddly enough, he did not spend the formative 
years of his life in this country, and his feeling for the 
habitant in his native environment was objective rather 
than subjective. Krieghoff was born in Dusseldorf, Saxony, during 
the final years of the Napoleonic wars,- the date has been variously 
given as 1812 and 1814. He lived part of his youth at Mainburg 
Castle, Schwienfurth, Bavaria, and studied art until he came to America 
in his early twenties. He enlisted in the United States Army for 
their war against the unfortunate Seminole Indians in the Everglades 
of Florida, and made a series of sketches of that historical event. 
A brother, who lived in Toronto, brought Cornelius Krieghoff to 
Canada. He married a French-Canadian lady, and settled in Montreal 
about 1849. 

The scenery of Quebec and the rural life of the habitant appear to 
have made a strong appeal to Krieghoff. His studies of these subjects 
attracted the attention of John S. Budden, who invited him to the City 
of Quebec, where he settled in 1853. His pictures that are important in 
the art life of Canada were done during the next ten years. His paint- 
ings were built around little groups of habitants and Indians, and he 
usually utilized winter scenes, with ice on the streams and pine-woods 
in the distance, for his backgrounds. He had an unusual method of 
working. Many of his small pictures were produced at a sitting, but 
over his larger canvases, he worked with meticulous care for months. 
Much of his work was reproduced by a large lithograph firm in 
Philadelphia. His paintings were quaint and studied, but are much 
admired now for their minute and authentic observation. In 1 864, his 
son-in-law. Count de Wendt, induced him to leave Quebec and settle 
in Chicago, where he died in 1872. 





OTTO R. JACOBi: 1S1M901 

By \iiid f>€rmiss\on of Thomas £. Joil^oj, Esq. 

OTTO R. JACOBI: 1812-1901 

r is customary to include Otto R. Jacobi in the ranks of 
Canadian painters, although he lived for more than half 
of his long life in his native Germany and did not settle 
in his adopted country until he was forty-eight years of 
age. But he was very active during the critical years 
when the art and artists of the Dominion were being organized on 
a firm foundation, and around him have grown up traditions that 
make him a distinctive and picturesque figure. Otto R. Jacobi was 
born in Konigsburg, Prussia, in 1812. He studied art in his native 
town and later in Dusseldorf. It was not want of recognition in 
Europe that made him emigrate to America; he was at one time Court 
Painter to the Grand Duke of Nassau. 

In 1860, Jacobi arrived in Canada. It is difficult to understand how 
it came about that a man with an established reputation as an artist 
decided to remain in a country where there was so little appreciation of 
the fine arts. He saw the beginning of a new era fifteen years later, 
when the artists grew numerous enough to form themselves into 
associations. In 1880, shortly after the formation of the Royal 
Canadian Academy, Jacobi was elected a member, and he became 
President in 1890, holding that office until 1892. He was one of the 
first teachers in the art school that began in the seventies, and it is 
recorded that he was greatly delighted with the suggestion that he 
should be known as Professor Jacobi. As a painter, Jacobi con- 
tinued in the style that he had learned in Europe, of which he 
was a skilful exponent. He never attempted to become an interpreter 
of the typically Canadian landscape. His early water colors are still 
admired for their color and tone. Towards the end of his life he 
went to the Western States, where he died in 1 90 1 . 


PAUL KANE: 1810-IS71 

By lijmd permission of thf Rov^il Oraaho 


PAUL KANE: 1810-1871 

LTHOUGH it is customary to refer to Paul Kane as the 
first native Canadian artist, he was, as a matter of fact, 
born in Mallow, County Cork, where his father, an 
Englishman by birth, settled after his discharge from the 
British Army, in which he served for a number of years. 
The Kane family came to Upper Canada, and settled in Toronto, then 
known as Little York, in 1819, when Paul was between eight and nine 
years of age. He always found a fascination in the wild life of the 
new country and used to fraternize with the Indian boys around muddy 
York. Friends helped him in his desire to study art, and when twenty- 
six years old he went to the United States in search of good teachers, 
but the United States at that period of its history was no place for an 
artist who respected his art. In 1 84 1 Kane managed to get to Europe, 
where he travelled and studied. After four years in England and on 
the continent, Paul Kane returned to Canada and began the work 
that was to give him an important place among Canadian painters. 
It was his ambition to paint "a series of pictures illustrative of the 
North American Indians and scenery." 

Paul Kane made a trip across Canada in the year 1845, and gathered 
studies of the various types of Indians to be found in Western Canada. 
In those days, a journey through the territory that has since become four 
rich provinces was a dangerous and arduous adventure. Kane has 
left a record of his experiences in "Wanderings of an Artist among the 
Indians of North America," one of the classics of Canadian literature. 
Kane left behind him more than one hundred canvases, most of which 
hang in the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. Although he used 
the conventional European methods of his day in his paintings, Paul 
Kane did pictures that now possess great historical and ethnological 
value. His Indians are authentic and convincing in details of physi- 
ognomy and costume. He spent all his later years in Canada, and died 
in Toronto in 1871. 


DANIEL fowler: ISlOlS^ 

By ^nd po'tnwjioti of thf .\<ih<)iui/ Gallop 
of Ctimiili 

DANIEL FOWLER: 1810-1894 

LMOST by an accident, Daniel Fowler stepped into a 
place among the Canadian painters. He was just com- 
mencing to make a reputation among the young artists 
of England when ill-health forced him to leave his native 
land and to put aside his brushes. He came to Canada 
in 1843 and settled on a farm on Amherst Island, near Kingston. 
For fourteen years the London artist was lost in the Canadian farmer, 
and by that time his health was completely restored. In 1857, he 
revisited his old friends and the old studios in London, and the desire 
to paint was rekindled, so he turned a room in his farmhouse into a 
studio, and his pictures began to be noticed in Montreal and Toronto. 
In 1862 an important incident occurred. A prize of $200 had been 
offered for a water color, and the judges took for granted that it would 
go to Jacobi, the outstanding water-colorist of the day in Canada, but 
when Jacobi saw the study of hollyhocks submitted to the exhibition 
by the unknown man, Fowler, he generously refused the award. The 
money was divided. At first the circumstances were misunderstood 
by Fowler, who thought that the splitting of the prize indicated favorit- 
ism, and like a good John Bull he went to call on Jacobi. When he 
learned the facts, he became a friend of the picturesque old German, 
and from that time he took an active personal part in Canadian art. 

Daniel Fowler was born in the village of Down, England, in 1810. He 
attended Mr. Cogans famous school for boys, where Disraeli was one 
of his school mates. His father intended him to be a lawyer, but he 
gravitated to art, and studied with J. S. Harding, a water-color artist. 
He had travelled and made sketches in Germany and Italy before the 
break in his health forced him to seek the more invigorating climate of 
Canada. He was one of the first members of the Ontario Society of 
Artists, and will be remembered as one of the founders of the Royal 
Canadian Academy. He died at his home on Amherst Island in 1894. 
As a water-color painter, he was admired for the bright, rich harmonies 
of his colors. He is, perhaps, best known for his pictures of flowers, 
dead birds and game, in all of which will be found excellent drawing and 
clearness and directness in handling. 





By }{ind pennissicnx of the Aldrtotwl Gallery 
of Canada 

WILLIAM BRYMNER, C.M.G.: 1855-1925 

N the Canadian arts will be found a number of men, 
natives of the British Isles, whose families brought an 
intellectual tradition from the old world and developed 
it in the environment of the new. William Brymner 
belonged to that group. He was born in Greenock, 
Scotland, on December 14th, 1855, and two years later his parents 
crossed the Atlantic and settled in Montreal. His father was 
Dr. Douglas Brymner, who was influential in founding the Do- 
minion Archives in 1 872 and who became the first archivist. William 
Brymner made up his mind early in life to be a painter, although 
he was articled for a short time to an architect. He completed his 
studies in the Julian Academy, Paris, under Bouguereau and Fleury, 
and their influence could be seen in much of his mature work. 

The career of William Brymner as a painter was tranquil and 
successful, and he soon took a position among the leading Canadian 
artists. Although Montreal was his home, he travelled and painted 
in Europe during his summer visits abroad, and he did landscapes 
in many parts of the Dominion, from pastorals in Quebec to paint- 
ings of the Rockies. He conducted life classes at the Montreal 
Art Association. In 1886 he was elected to the Royal Canadian 
Academy, of which he became president in 1909, retaining that 
office until 1917. He received the honor of C.M.G. in 1916. 
William Brymner died in Wallasby, Cheshire, England, on June 
18th, 1925. A large part of Brymners work consisted of landscape 
and genre subjects. He painted with great sincerity of purpose, 
with truthfulness of execution and excellent draughtsmanship. 
He did considerable writing and published articles on both travel 
and art. 


PAUL PEEL : 1S.«>-IS02 

By \\nd f«<Ttt!iwic>ti of tiiir T^aticmal Gallay 

of Q:naJ<i 

PAUL PEEL: 1859-1892 

LTHOUGH Paul Peel only lived to be 33 years of age 
and spent most of his time abroad after he became a 
man, his pictures have won for him an enviable place 
in the hearts of the Canadian people. It can be said 
without much fear of contradiction that one or two 
of his most famous paintings are more widely familiar among 
average Canadians than the work of any other native painter. Paul 
Peel was born in London, Ontario, in 1 859. He studied art first in 
the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, and after spending three 
years there, he went to England and entered the Royal Academy 
Schools, where he remained for one year. Subsequently, he worked 
in Paris under Gerome, Lefebvre, Boulanger, Doucet and Benjamin 
Constant, remaining with the last named for five years. He 
achieved international fame very rapidly, as a painter of figures. 
A few years before his death. Peel returned to Canada for a short 
period, and in 1890 he was elected to the R.C.A. Two years 
later he died in his beloved Paris. 

In addition to his meticulous technique, displayed in painting 
figures, particularly nudes, Paul Peel put a great deal of pleasing 
sentiment into his studies of children that made his work very 
popular. In 1889, his picture, "Life is Bitter," was awarded an 
Honourable Mention at the Paris Salon, and a year later, "After 
the Bath" received the "Medaille 3rd classe" of the Salon. The 
Hungarian Government purchased "After the Bath," and it 
remained in that country until after the Great War, when it was 
brought to Canada. It is one painting by a Canadian that practi- 
cally everybody in this country knows by sight. H.M. Queen 
Alexandra added to her private collection a picture by Paul Peel 
entitled "Boy and Dog." 



B> Jfind (permission of tl« Art GaUery of 

Hamilton, jtjj W'WJiam Bnicc, Es.j. 



HE men who are listed as Canadian painters can be 
divided into three groups — the artists born in other 
countries who continued their old style in the land of 
their adoption; the native Canadians who have gone 
abroad and excelled in the recognized European styles; 
and the Canadians by birth and adoption who have endeavored to 
interpret on canvas the life and scenery of this country. An eminent 
member of the second group is Blair Bruce. He was born in Hamilton, 
Ont., and started as a young man to study law, but his heart was in 
painting. To please his family, he worked at architecture for a while, 
but eventually embraced art as his profession. He studied in Paris, 
and in a very short time became a regular exhibitor in the Salon. 
After a few years he went to Sweden, where he met and married an 
eminent Swedish sculptress, the sister of Gustava Benedicks, a promin- 
ent member of the Swedish Parliament. These two artists worked 
together in France, Sweden, Italy and Canada. Blair Bruce died 
very suddenly in Stockholm on November I 7th, 1906, while working 
on a large picture. 

One of the great tragedies of Blair Bruce's life was that he lost practi- 
cally all his early work in a ship-wreck. He had consented to return 
to Canada, to rest after a long period of over-work, and he shipped 
all his paintings on a steamship that struck a rock and went down in 
the Gulf of St. Lawrence during a fog. Two celebrated painters who 
affected Bruce's style were Bouguereau and Tony Robert Fleury, 
under whom he studied. He was a versatile painter, excelling in 
studies of figures, as well as doing notable landscapes and marines. 
He did not make a great deal of use of Canadian subjects, and that 
is the reason why "The Walker of the Snow" will probably become his 
best known picture in his native land. It is based on an Indian 
legend of a haunted valley, in which a man, crossing after a certain 
hour in the evening, will meet the phantom hunter. 


THE ROCKIES— ^Mount Hurd. B.C.) 

F. M. bell-smith: lJU6-19r'. 

Bv i^inJ pcrmisstoiy of R. D. Hwrnr. Ej:^. 


READER of the biographies of Canadian artists will 
always be struck by the fact that the majority of them 
were intended for other professions by their parents, but 
eventually won for themselves the right to become painters. 
Happily, the day is now past when Canadian fathers took 
that attitude towards art. The case of Frederick M. Bell-Smith was 
an exception to that rule. He is an instance of a prominent artist 
whose father had been an artist before him. John Bell-Smith was an 
Englishman, born in London, and for seventeen years he held the posi- 
tion of Secretary and Trustee of the Institute of Fine Arts in the British 
Capital. In 1876 he came to Canada with his family, and after trying 
Montreal and Hamilton, finally settled in Toronto. His son, Frederick 
M. Bell-Smith, was born in London in 1846, and left his native land for 
Canada the year that he came of age. 

Frederick M. Bell-Smith studied art in both London and Paris, among 
his teachers being Courtois, Dupain and Alexander Harrison. He 
arrived in Canada just when the artists were commencing to organize, 
and in 1867, the year that he located in his new home, became one of the 
foundation members of the Society of Canadian Artists. He was 
entered as a member of the Ontario Society of Artists immediately after 
its organization in 1872, and occupied the position of president from 
1905 to 1908. He was elected an A.R.C.A. in 1880 and an R.C.A. 
in 1886. For more than half-a-century he was an exhibitor in all 
Canadian art exhibitions. He was awarded a gold medal at Halifax, 
and in 1892 and 1909 carried off prizes for water colors at the Montreal 
Art Association. For many years Bell-Smith was widely known as a 
Dickens enthusiast, and he devoted a great deal of his time to promoting 
the well-being of the Dickens' Fellowship in Toronto. He took an 
active part in their dramatic activities, and as the Dickens' Fellowship 
trained a great many of the actors now prominent in the community 
theatre movement, Bell-Smith can be credited with having helped to 
develop two of Canada's native arts, painting and the drama. 


By Jjind permission of Mrs. J. R. Wilson 


AMES WILSON MORRICE is highly esteemed by the 
art experts of his native country as an interpreter of the 
Canadian scene; the European critics rank him among 
the notable painters of recent years. One cannot think 
of any other Canadian artist who has enjoyed during his 
lifetime such a high degree of discriminating appreciation at home 
and abroad. J. W. Morrice was born in Montreal in 1 869, and began 
dabbling in water colors while taking his arts course at the University 
of Toronto. His pictures were refused at a local art exhibition, and 
his friends believed that his special talent was for music, in which he 
took a great interest all his life. He took the course at Osgoode Hall 
to become a lawyer, and was called to the bar in Toronto. Almost 
immediately, he went abroad and studied art in Paris at the Julian 
Academy and later with Henri Harpignies, the landscape painter. 
He won recognition at once, and became in course of time a member 
of the Societe Nationale des Beaux-Arts and the Salon d'Automne, 
Paris; the International Society and the Autumn Salon, London, and 
the Royal Canadian Academy, of which he was an honorable non- 
resident member. Pictures by Morrice hang in the Luxembourg, 
Paris; the National Gallery, Washington; the Tate Gallery, London; 
the "Musie de Lyon," the Louvre, Paris, and many smaller galleries. 
He died in Tunis in 1 924. 

It has been said that Morrice's paintings may be divided into three 
groups, his Canadian pictures, his French pictures and his Mediter- 
ranean pictures. He was the master of a remarkably free and simple 
method, possessing a peculiarly elusive quality and great charm. 
It is hard to make an analysis of Morrice pictures, but they are 
eminently satisfying. Nothing more typically Canadian can be 
found anywhere than his studies of his native Province of Quebec. 


TOM THOMSON : 1S77-1917 

By l^ind />cn»iissicm of th« Art GaUery 

of Tofwtto 

TOM THOMSON: 1877-1917 

MONG the men of genius born in Canada, Tom Thomson 
must be included. Although comparatively young when 
he met his untimely death, his original gifts had given 
him a unique place as a creative influence in Canadian 
art. He was born in Claremont in 1877, and one of 
the most interesting features of his career was that, as a painter, he 
was largely self-taught, although he studied decorative design to some 
extent. There has never been any other Canadian painter like him. 
Untouched by European traditions, he approached the subjects that he 
selected to treat with a unique degree of understanding and love. 
Tom Thomson wandered alone for the better part of every year in Algon- 
quin Park, inured to hardship and reputed to be the best guide, fisher- 
man and canoe man in the district. He lived through all the wonderful 
seasons in the wild lands, and knew intimately the things that you find 
in his pictures, swollen rivers, gaunt pines, melting ice and the sound 
of the wind through trees. He made many sketches, and when he 
began to exhibit them and his larger pictures, of which he did not 
finish as many as his fellow-countrymen could wish, he leapt into 
prominence as a new interpreter of the vivid Canadian landscape. 
He brought home to art enthusiasts, to a degree that had not been 
felt before, the brilliant light and coloring to be found in Canada's 
northern scenery. 

Even in the dark days of the war, when men were accustomed to calamity, 
the news of his tragic death came as a tremendous shock. Tom Thom- 
son was drowned in Algonquin Park during the summer of 1917. 
His admirers had looked to him to carry forward Canadian landscape 
painting to a point not yet realized. International recognition, in the 
larger sense, came to Tom Thomson in 1924 at Wembley, where his 
paintings, notably "The Jack Pine," caused a sensation among the 
art critics. His influence upon the modernist movement in Canada is 
very marked. It is hardly too much to say that a touch of his vitality 
is found almost everywhere in recent Canadian art.