This Tom Thomson sketch of Canada's north in the summer is part of the collection at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, and is reproduced with copyright permission. Therefore the colours are true to the original. Professionally matted and framed using archival materials in a coppery-colour wood frame to 15" x 14", the image itself is 8" x 10".
The Artist: Tom Thomson (1877-1917) is arguably Canada’s most intriguing, and perhaps its most iconic artist. Tom’s love of the wilderness led him to Algonquin Park in the spring of 1912 with a sketch kit in hand, and he encouraged his colleagues at Grip in Toronto, (future Group of Seven members, J.E.H. MacDonald, Arthur Lismer, Fred Varley and Franklin Carmichael) to join him, where they painted together and became known informally as the Algonquin School. Through MacDonald, Thomson also met Lawren Harris and shared studios with A.Y. Jackson at the Studio Building where Lawren Harris was driving and supporting a new movement in Canadian art. By 1914, Thomson’s paintings of the north were already becoming recognized by The National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa. Unfortunately, the progress of the informal group of artists were interrupted by the outbreak of the First World War. The group would not formally come together again until after Tom’s death, to form Canada’s first national school of painting, the Group of Seven. On July 8, 1917, Thomson disappeared while paddling across Canoe Lake. His body was found 8 days later. Though ruled an accidental drowning, the cause of his death is surrounded by skepticism to this day. Although Tom Thomson did not live to see the birth of the Group, his name became synonymous with the radical group of painters who would create and reflect Canadian identity through painting.