Arts Everyday Living: Van Gogh & Tom Thomson-Lady of the Lake and the Innkeeper’s Daughter

Tom Thomson, Figure of a Lady, Laura, Autumn 1915, oil on composite wood-pulp, McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Vaughan, Ontario, Canada


The theme of a woman in profile is universal in art. For instance, Canadian artist Tom Thomson (1877-1917) immortalized Laura, sitting against the wilderness landscape of Canoe Lake in Algonquin Park in Central Ontario.  While Dutch master Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890)  has posed his model Adeline Ravoux in a more traditional interior, probably a room in her father’s inn at Auvers-sur-Oise where Vincent was staying.

Both painters would lead short lives, each ending tragically. Thomson would drown in Canoe Lake at the age of 39, while the 37 year old  Vincent would shoot himself in the fields outside of Auvers. Mystery still surrounds both their deaths.



Vincent van Gogh, Adeline Ravoux, 1890, oil on canvas, Private Collection



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