Impressionism in Canada
A work meeting in Munich a couple of weeks ago got canceled at the last minute. That left me with a free day to look around. A quick internet search of things to do in Munich turned up an exhibition of works by late 19th/early 20th century Canadian impressionists at Munich’s Kunst Halle. Canada is the last place you associate with Impressionism. I was intrigued.
While many Canadian painters finished their education in ateliers of Paris, they eventually returned and applied the techniques of Impressionism to subjects and landscapes of their own country. I was interested in seeing how the ochre palette of sunny, southern French rural idyll would transpose to the vast, snowy, Canadian landscape thousands of miles across the Atlantic:
You also caught glimpses of a nation in the process of rapid industrialisation:
Then there were scenes from daily life in cities of Canada1:
It was not all desolate winters and bleak northern light - quite a few works that depicted scenes from spring/autumn2:
And quite a few human subjects too:
And of course, a scene that would perhaps rank as the most Canadian of them all - maple syrup being harvested:
The sense of immediacy, life and a masterful depiction of light that seems to illuminate impressionist works from within, were all too present in the works on display here. Glad I could visit!
One of the paintings in this section had an alternate title: “Sunday Morning”. It suddenly brought back memories of No Doubt’s 90s music video for the song of the same title. Upon returning home and watching it on youtube, I realised that I had remembered nothing of the video except the food fight in the end. I am always amazed at the memories our minds selectively choose to preserve and triggers that evoke them.↩
There was even an entire section of scenes from beaches.↩