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The Group of Seven & Tom Thomson. The Group of Seven. Franklin Carmichael Lauren Harris Alexander Young Jackson Frank Johnston Arthur Lismer James Edward Hervey MacDonald Frederick Varley Plus Tom Thomson.

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the group of seven
The Group of Seven
  • Franklin Carmichael
  • Lauren Harris
  • Alexander Young Jackson
  • Frank Johnston
  • Arthur Lismer
  • James Edward Hervey MacDonald
  • Frederick Varley


Tom Thomson


John A. Fraser 
September Afternoon, Eastern Townships   1873 
oil on canvas
78.5 x 131.3 cm

the canadian landscape
The Canadian Landscape

J.W. Beatty (1869 – 1941)

  • Was an associate of Macdonald’s in the Arts and Letters Club
  • Returned from Europe painting dark moody images of Dutch peasant life
  • Heard arguments from another artist that artistic expression is only meaningful if it connects to the viewer (C.W. Jeffreys)
  • As early as 1902 Jeffreys, Beatty, and MacDonald travelled northward to sketch


Thomson's Rapids, MagnetawanRiver, 1910

oil on paperboard, 15.2 x 23.4 cm

harris and dr james maccallum
Harris and Dr. James MacCallum
  • Talked MacDonald in leaving his commercial work to become a professional painter
  • Harris and MacCullum constructed the “Studio Building of Canadian Art”
  • Harris wrote to Jackson in Montreal to ask him to move to Toronto
  • Dr. MacCullum offered up his summer home for the year for Jackson to start sketching and painting and hopefully convince him to stay
october 14 th 1914
October 14th, 1914
  • Thomson and Jackson made for the north in their first trip together to Algonquin Park
  • Here is where it would seem that Thomson had things to teach Jackson
  • They would stay there for 6 weeks and later be joined by Lismer and Varley.
  • Jackson hit his full form with Frozen Lake, Early Spring, Algonquin Park

A.Y. Jackson 
Frozen Lake, Early Spring, Algonquin Park   1914 
oil on canvas
81.4 x 99.4 cm


Tom Thomson 
Northern River   1915 
oil on canvas
115.1 x 102 cm
Purchased 1915

the war
The War
  • The “Algonquin School” was just ready to make a move towards a more public presence
  • This would now have to wait for five years until the group members returned from the war
  • Jackson returned to Montreal, joined the war efforts in 1915, 1917 was made official war artist
  • Harris enlists, 1916
  • February, 1918, Fred Varley
  • June, 1918, Arthur Lismer
  • August, 1918, Frank Johnston
back in toronto
Back in Toronto
  • MacDonald and Harris would continue to lighten their palettes
  • The two of them would see Thomson often during the early years of war
  • Thomson created a pattern by this time: in Algonquin by April to sketch, work odd jobs during the summer, and then sketch till November, then return to Toronto
  • Controversy over “The Tangled Garden”

J.E.H. MacDonald 
Study for "The Tangled Garden"   1915 
oil on cardboard, mounted on plywood
20.5 x 25 cm

  • Thomson drowns in Canoe Lake, July, 1917
  • MacDonald suffers a breakdown
  • Thomson ends off with The West Wind and The Jack Pine

Tom Thomson, West Wind, 1917

Oil on canvas, 120.7 x 137.2 cm

  • Harris and MacCullum headed for Algoma
  • Harris returned in September with MacDonald and Johnston
  • The “Box Car Trips”
  • The Following September Jackson would replace MacCullum
  • The first Group of Seven exhibition happened May 1920.

A. J. Casson,

Untitled, 1966-68
oil on linen canvas
261.6cm x 200.7 cm