F. B. Housser, “Nineteen-Thirteen”, A Canadian Art Movement: The Story of the Group of Seven, 1926


Tom painted a canvas he called “Northern Lake” and exhibited it at the 1913 spring exhibition of the O.S.A. beside the works of his friends. It was his first exhibited canvas. A reviewer describes it as “a rolling composition of waves and rough weather with a distant shoreline.” Northern Lake is now in the Normal School at Ottawa. It was bought by the Ontario Government the year it was shown for a price of $250, a fortune it must have looked like to its painter.


In the fall of 1912 an exhibition of Scandinavian art was held in Buffalo and thither went MacDonald and Harris. [...]

At the exhibition in Buffalo, MacDonald was much moved by a canvas of Gustav A.F. Fjaestad, entitled “Ripples”. It possessed (I judge only from a reproduction) a fine rhythm and striking design which appealed strongly to MacDonald. I have heard Harris say that a canvas by the Norwegian painter Schlberg, “Mountains, a Winter Landscape,” was one of those which most impressed him. We can understand why, even from the print in the catalogue. The background is a high white form of snowy mountains, beneath a lone star, suggestive of a grand mood of life, an overtone of natural form which is a “thing in itself.” The picture has a touch of what Harris so often tries for in certain of his own northern canvases.

Source: F. B. Housser, ""Nineteen-Thirteen", in A Canadian Art Movement" in A Canadian Art Movement: The Story of the Group of Seven, (Toronto: Macmillan Company of Canada, 1926), 62-64

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