Arthur Lismer (1885 – 1969
“Still Life” (1961)
Oil on cardboard; 12″ x 16″
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Born in Sheffield, England in 1885, Arthur Lismer studied there and at the Académie royale in Antwerp, Belgium, before immigrating to Toronto in 1911. Finding employment as a graphic artist as Grip Limited between 1912 and 1915, he met Tom Thomson, J.E.H. MacDonald and, eventually, the other artists who would form the Group of Seven. During those brief years, he emerged as one of Canada’s leading landscapes painters. Describing himself as “a newcomer, raw English, full of enthusiasm”, Lismer joined the artists on sketching trips to Algonquin Park, later claiming that these experiences in the Canadian bush were “turning points” in his life. As a passionate advocate of art education, he inspired countless students as the vice principal of the Ontario College of Art (1919-27), as the director of education at the Art Gallery of Toronto (1927-38) and at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (1941-67). He died in Montreal in 1969.