Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Arthur Lismer

Olympic with Returned Soldiers
(He captured the return of the troopship SS Olympic to Halifax harbour following the First World War)
oil on canvas
123 x 163.3 cm
Canadian War Museum, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Arthur Lismer (1885-1969), born in Sheffield England, was a painter, educator. he was one of the founders of the Group of Seven and a crucial figure in the development of arts education in Canada.

At age 13 he apprenticed at a photo-engraving company. He was awarded a scholarship and studied at the Sheffield School of Arts from 1898 until 1905. Then in 1905 he moved to Antwerp Belgium where he studied art at the Academie Royale. He immigrated to Canada in 1911, and settled in Toronto where he began to work at a commercial design company. While there he met MacDonald, Carmichael and Thomson, and they eventually became members of the Group of Seven. In 1920 the Group of Seven was officially formed. He counted up the people in the group and gave them a name.

His artistic style was inspired by the Barbizon and Post Impressionist movements in Belgium, and this showed through in his art. Not only was he a painter, but an author of several articles about the Canadian art scene. In 1967 he was made a Companion to the Order of Canada for his efforts, which is the highest honour bestowed upon a civilian.