Arthur Lismer

Canadian (born in England), 1885–1969

Sombre Isle of Pic, Lake Superior, 1927

oil on canvas

87.5 x 110.3 cm

Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery; Gift of Mrs. R.A. Purves



Painting, Canadian Modern (1910-1979)

The view overlooking Pic Island, depicted in Arthur Lismer’s painting, was a popular subject among the Group of Seven. As well as offering the painter impressive vistas and vantage points, the Algoma region (located on the northern shore of Lake Superior) contains fine examples of windswept pine, steep cliffs, and soaring peaks, all favourite and abiding motifs for the Group. Lismer marshals the undulating topography and shifting colour schemes into a perceptual maze, leading the viewer on a tour of the landscape’s broad natural rhythms. The absence of any human presence highlights a sense of wilderness strength and fortitude, an enduring muse for Lismer and the Group, and signifier of a robustly nationalistic Canadian art.

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