Travel tips



Little is known of London prior to AD 61 when, according to the Roman historian Tacitus, the followers of Queen Boadicea rebelled and slaughtered the inhabitants of the Roman fort Londinium...

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In 1998, seven former municipalities (East York,City of Etobicoke,North York, Scarborough,the city of York and the Regional Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto) were merged to form Toronto...

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Besides being a city, Montreal is an island in the St. Lawrence River. About 50 km long, 16 km wide, with a mountain of 230 meters which occupies its center, which was originally inhabited by the Iroquois ...

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Vancouver is a city in British Columbia, Vancouver Canada.Location near the mouth of the Fraser River and waterways in the Strait of Georgia, Howe Sound, Burrard Inlet and tributaries,...

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Places to See

Art in Canada

In the 1600s French settlers in Canada either imported religious paintings or commissioned stock subjects to adorn their new churches. Only Samuel de Champlain, the “Father of New France”, stands out for his sketches of the Huron tribe. After the English conquest in the 1760s, art moved from religion to matters of politics, the land, and the people. Army officers, such as Thomas Davies (1737–1812), painted fine detailed works, conveying their love of the landscape.
Artists such as Robert Field (1769–1819), trained in Neo-Classicism, which was prevalent in Europe at the time, and became very popular, as did Quebec painters Antoine Plamondon (1817–95) and Théophile Hamel (1817–70). Cornelius Krieghoff (1815–72) settled in Quebec and was famous for his snow scenes of both settlers and natives. His contemporary, Paul Kane (1810–71), recorded the lives of the First Nations on an epic journey across Canada. He then completed over 100 sketches and paintings, of which Mah Min, or The Feather, (c.1856) is one of the most impressive. During the 19th century, painters focused on the Canadian landscape. Homer Watson (1855–1936) and Ozias Leduc (1855–1964) were the first artists to learn their craft in Canada. Watson said, “I did not know enough to have Paris or Rome in mind. … I felt Toronto had all I needed.” His canvases portray Ontarian domestic scenes.
After Confederation in 1867, the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts and the National Gallery of Canada were founded in 1883. Artists could now train at home, but many still left to study in Paris. Curtis Williamson (1867–1944) and Edmund Morris (1871–1913) returned from France determined to revitalize their tired national art. They formed the Canadian Art Club in 1907, where new schools such as Impressionism were shown.
James Wilson Morrice (1865–1924), Maurice Cullen (1866–1934), and Marc Aurèle de Foy Suzor-Coté (1869–1937) were key figures in this move toward modernity.
The influence of European art was criticized by perhaps the most influential set of Canadian artists, the Group of Seven. Before World War I, Toronto artists had objected to the lack of a national identity in art.
By the 1920s the Group had defined Canadian painting in their boldly colored landscapes, such as A.Y. Jackson’s Terre Sauvage (1913). Despite his early death, painter Tom Thomson was a founding influence.
Three painters who came to prominence in the 1930s were influenced by the Group but followed highly individual muses, each of the artists were distinguished by a passion for their own province; David Milne (1882–1953), known for his still lifes, LeMoine Fitzgerald (1890–1956) for his domestic and backyard scenes, and Emily Carr (1871–1945) for her striking depiction of the west coast Salish people and their totem poles. Carr was the first woman artist to achieve high regard. A writer as well as painter, her poem Renfrew (1929), describes her intense relationship with nature, which was reflected in her paintings: “… in the distance receding plane after plane… cold greens, gnarled stump of gray and brown.”
The strong influence of the Group of Seven provoked a reaction among successive generations of painters. John Lyman (1866–1945) rejected the group’s rugged nationalism. Inspired by Matisse, he moved away from using land as the dominant subject of painting. Lyman set up the Contemporary Arts Society in Montreal and promoted new art between 1939–48; even Surrealism reached the city. Since World War II there has been an explosion of new forms based upon abstraction.
In Montreal, Paul-Emile Borduas (1905–60) and two colleagues formed the Automatists, whose inspirations were Surrealism and Abstract Impressionism.
By the 1950s Canadian painters achieved international acclaim. Postwar trends were also taken up in Toronto where The Painters Eleven produced abstract paintings. Today, artists work across the range of contemporary art movements, incorporating influences from around the world and from Canada’s cultural mosaic. Experimental work by painters such as Jack Bush, Greg Carnoe, and Joyce Wieland continues strongly in the wake of ideas from the 1960s. Canada now boasts a plethora of public and private galleries, and exceptional collections of 20th-century art.