“A Modernist, William Henry Clapp is one of the monarchs of Canadian Impressionism. Indifferent as an artist to the emotional elements implicit in everyday experience, he extolled landscapes and the human figure — specifically the nude. In painting these works, he observed the phenomena of light on the generative forces of the organic world. The body is only a detail, an iconography, subordinate to the pattern in which light and shade govern vision. Immersed in golden quietude, Clapp’s art is all the more credible because of its objective truth — an art of passive reverie that has inspired all Impressionists since Renoir who are preoccupied with light and colour to the exclusion of human issues.”A signature of his works, Clapp’s setting is diaphanous and diffused. Mauves and violets blend with rosy white to form his model’s supple flesh. The eye is attracted by the sensuous application of colour, a hazy softness that tempts and beguiles us. The artist gazes back at the viewer, catching us in our intrigue of this Andromeda, against a backdrop of deep yellow. More on William Henry Clapp…
Tag: PELEG FRANKLIN BROWNELL
11 Works by Canadian Artists – GARTHE, LISMER, GIBBONS, PRATT, MASSON, NORRIS, WIELAND, BROWNELL, HEPPARD, RROBERTS, CLAPP, with footnotes
CHARLOTTE CORDAY, It was on the eve of the fourth anniversary of the sacking of the Bastille, 13 July 1793, that the noblewoman Charlotte Corday, knocked on Jean-Paul Marat’s door. Claiming knowledge of an escaped group of Girondins, Corday was permitted entry and recited her list of 18 offenders. In truth, Corday was a Girondin sympathizer, a member of an impoverished aristocratic family seeking to avenge the ‘wrongdoings’ of the Revolution. After Marat had finished writing down the names, he assured the lady that the ‘heads’ of the guilty would ‘fall within a fortnight.’ With her true allegiance called to task, Corday produced a kitchen knife from her corset, and slayed the politician. She would later testify during her four-day trial that she had ‘killed one man to save 100,000.’The works of Joyce Wieland are frequently lauded as emblems of patriotism and feminism. “From the beginning of her career, Joyce did not try to paint like a man, even at a time when mainly men’s work was considered authentic art. Working from the wellspring of who she was, a woman and a feminist…meant accepting an inescapable identity that modified her position in art; as a woman she was marginal even though she was the country’s leading (woman) artist by the late sixties.”In this work, Wieland re-infuses the scene, immortalized previously in a work by Jacques-Louis David, with the female voice. The viewer is compelled by the artist to reinvestigate the narrative, the moment captured, and the true hero. As Wieland inscribed: MODERÉE: To “moderate” the story, to make less extreme, the average, the commonplace.This work was executed in 1987, the year in which Wieland became the first living Canadian-woman artist to be given a career-long retrospective at the Art Gallery of Ontario (16 April-28 June 1987). More on CHARLOTTE CORDAY…
PELEG FRANKLIN BROWNELL, BONAVENTURE ISLAND 01 Marine Paintings – With Footnotes, #207
Though Peleg Franklin Brownell found his favourite sketching grounds close to his home in Ottawa, he also explored and created works set in the areas of the Lower St. Lawrence, the Little Saguenay River and the Gaspé Peninsula. Brownell’s works exhibit great technical ability. His landscapes, which arise out of vigourously applied brushstrokes, are thoughtfully composed. Southeast of the village of Percé, off of the southern coast of Québec, Bonaventure Island was one of the early seasonal fishing ports of New France. What is truly picturesque about this work is not the land nor the old fishing company houses that give it its title, but rather the pensive and invigorating sea of sapphire blue. More on this painting
Peleg Franklin Brownell, painter, teacher (b at New Bedford, Mass 27 July 1857; d at Ottawa 13 Mar 1946). After studying at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, he went to Paris to study under Robert-Fleury, Bouguereau and Bonnat. In 1886 he became principal of the Ottawa Art School and subsequently headed the Woman’s Art Association of Ottawa (later Ottawa Art Association), retiring 1937. He also painted in the West Indies, the US, the Gaspé and the Gatineau. Besides highly keyed landscapes, he produced portraits, flower studies, marine and genre scenes in oil, watercolour and pastel.
A founder-member of the Canadian Art Club (1907), he was represented in the exhibitions of several art associations and showed internationally at the 1893 Chicago World’s Columbian Exposition; the 1900 Paris World’s Fair, at which he won a bronze medal for his RCA diploma work, The Photographer, 1896; the Louisiana Purchase Exhibition, St Louis, 1904; and the British Empire Exhibition, 1924-25. His paintings are found in major Canadian collections. Perhaps his best-known canvas is The Beach, St. Kitts (1913). More on PELEG FRANKLIN BROWNELL
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