Lot #47

A.Y. Jackson
Near Lac Paquin, Quebec

oil on board
signed lower right; signed, titled and dated “March 1st, 1964” on the reverse
10.5 x 13.5 ins ( 26.7 x 34.3 cms )

Private Collection, Calgary
A.Y. Jackson, A Painter’s Country, Vancouver/Toronto, 1958, pages 58-66
Returning to the villages of Quebec to paint throughout his life, A.Y. Jackson was continually drawn to “Christmas card country”, as we he would describe the region to fellow Group of Seven member, J.E.H. MacDonald. The painter, sometimes journeying alone, sometimes with fellow painters including Albert Robinson, Arthur Lismer and Frederick Banting, would stay in an array of accommodations during his travels through the towns of rural Quebec. Finding hotel lodging when possible, Jackson would often board with families during stays in smaller communities, providing a deep examination of not only the land but also the daily life and culture of the residents. Limited by their isolation, many of those in the communities were enchanted by Jackson’s stories of his extensive travels and experiences, the painter playing equal hand in the storytelling tradition with his hosts.

Common in many of Jackson’s Quebec village landscapes, here the painter takes an elevated vantage point, allowing the viewer an inviting and easy journey into the community, meeting the figures at the bottom of the hill. On the left side of the road, the large white house’s many windows welcome the warm winter sunbeams that the painter would have felt behind him. As the road lifts past the colourful houses and barns, the density of the wilderness increases into the rolling hills of the horizon. Soft blues in the lightly-clouded sky confirm a bright winter afternoon, the light reflected in the whites and blues of the snowy field to our right.

Recalling his many adventures in rural Quebec in his autobiography, A.Y. Jackson notes that, at the time, he had missed “only one season” in thirty years of painting in the region, caused by a teaching post at the Ontario College of Art. Given the warmth of his recollections of the people and experiences in the province, not to mention the quality of paintings which resulted from his excursions, it is not surprising that it was a tradition from which he rarely strayed.

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Alexander Young Jackson
(1882 - 1974) Group of Seven, OSA, RCA

Born in Montreal, Alexander Young Jackson left school at the age of twelve and began work at a Montreal printing firm. In 1906, he undertook art studies at the Art Institute in Chicago. The following year he enrolled at the Academie Julian in Paris and remained in France until 1912. During this period his painting was strongly influenced by the Impressionists. After his return to Canada, Jackson took up residence in Montreal and made many sketching trips to the surrounding countryside. Harris and MacDonald were impressed by Jackson's work and, in 1913, persuaded him to move to Toronto. Jackson's great sense of adventure carried him from the east coast across Canada to the Rocky Mountains of the west. He made regular sketching trips to Quebec every spring and travelled to the far regions of Canada during the summer, including the Canadian Arctic. In the fall he would return to the Studio Building in Toronto (where he lived until 1955), spending the winters painting canvases. He continued this active lifestyle until he was in his eighties.