Thirty artists, around eighty paintings. These are the details on the contents of this book, which in fact aims to provide a fresh perspective on the way Impressionism was embraced and subsequently spread throughout Canada at the turn of the twentieth century, between 1880 and 1930, more precisely.
The book is published to coincide with an exhibition that is the first of its kind and brings together masterpieces by some of the best-known Canadian Impressionist painters in public and private collections. It explores the many ways in which a particularly dedicated group of artists played their part in the international phenomenon called Impressionism, while also laying the foundations for the development of a uniquely Canadian style of painting.
The volume takes a thematic approach, enabling readers to follow the development of these Canadian artists both in their home country and abroad: studies at French academies, trips to Europe, and participation in great exhibitions, especially the Paris Salons. Many of them inevitably developed a taste for the emphatic representation of a particular moment frozen in time and for rendering the effects of sunlight as faithfully as possible—something that was of central importance to the French Impressionists. When they returned to Canada, they were inescapably faced with the need to adapt what they had seen and learned to the different context of their homeland. Winter scenes—both urban and rural—became favourite subjects, as these artists found the Impressionist techniques wonderfully suited to evoking the quintessentially Canadian atmosphere of cold landscapes enveloped in the northern light.
Katerina Atanassova is Senior Curator of the Canadian Art Department of the National Gallery of Canada. Among her most recent projects are the show James Wilson Morrice. Une collection offerte par A. K. Prakash à la nationand the placement of the Canadian art collection in new galleries throughout the country.
Tobi Bruce is the director of shows and collections, as well as Senior Curator, of the Art Gallery of Hamilton. In the past she has held curating, research, and teaching positions at the Art Gallery of Hamilton, at Carleton University Art Gallery, and at Agnes Etherington Art Centre.
Anna Hudson is a professor, an art historian, and a curator specialized in Canadian Art and teaches at the York University in Toronto. She holds a research post at York University and is currently heading the Mobilizing Inuit Cultural Heritage project.
Laurier Lacroix is a professor emeritus at Quebec University in Montreal where he has lectured in Art History and Museology. His research focuses mainly on public collections, the historiography of art history, and art in Quebec and Canada before 1940.
Loren Lerner is an art history professor at Concordia University. She has participated in several publications focusing on how Canadian youth has been depicted by artists from the beginning of the nineteenth century till now.
Tracey Lock is the curator of Australian art at theArt Gallery of South Australia.
Gerta Moray, professor emeritus at Guelph University, is an art historian and critic.
Sandra Paikowsky is professor emeritus of Art History at Concordia University and member of the Order of Canada.
Adam Gopnik has been a staff writer for the New Yorkersince 1986. In March 2013 he was awarded the Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres medal.
Julie Nash and Krista Broeckx are curatorial assistants at the department of Canadian Art of the National Gallery of Canada.