Arts Everyday Living: Tom Thomson—Artist of the Northern Lights

Reposted blog about Canadian artist Tom Thomson


Tom Thomson, Northern Lights, 1917, oil on plywood, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Canada


The best I can do does not do the place much justice in the way of beauty.*

Tom Thomson


In his quote above, Tom Thomson, now considered one of the founding fathers of Canadian art, was probably referring to the natural wonders of Algonquin Park in Ontario where he created most of his works.  Unfortunately, his artistic career was brief; he drowned in a canoeing accident (although foul play has been suspected) just a month before his fortieth birthday. His deep love of the outdoors expressed in landscapes defined by vibrant color and moving brushstrokes would have a major impact on the future Group of Seven.

The National Gallery of Canada owns a large body of Thomson’s works including painting, sketches, and decorative art. His dream-like Northern Lights was donated to the museum in 1944 by Dr. J. M. MacCallum, part of a sizable the Toronto eye specialist.

*Quote of Tom Thomson (1877-1917) is from letter to Dr. MacCallum dated October 6, 1914, Canoe Lake Station, Ontario.





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