Artists, Phil Chadwick, Tony Bianco and Robert Batemen have all been influenced by Algonquin Park, resulting in impeccable Canadian landscape art, which shall continue on as part of our Canadian Art History. None shall remain more famous than Tom Thomson.
Known for his influence on the Group of Seven, Tom was instantly enthused when visiting Canoe Lake Station in 1912. Algonquin Park became such an inspiration that he took residency on Canoe Lake shortly after in 1914, working as a fire fighter and park guide until he found that this work took away from his painting.
For the next three years, the beauty and tranquility of the park inspired the Jack Pine, the West Wind and the Northern River. The aforementioned paintings were among his most celebrated.
Below are the Jack Pine and the West Wind respectively:
In 1917, under mysterious circumstances, Tom drowned on Canoe Lake. A great story that reads like a conspiracy novel, he died on the same lake that provided his home, food and creative inspiration. This painting, April in Algonquin Park, was completed only months before his passing.
As part of his legacy, he is regarded by some, as having the same level of skill as Picasso and the Group of Seven that he emboldened. You can find some of his collection at the Tom Thomson Art Gallery in Owen Sound, the Art Gallery of Ontario and the National Gallery of Canada. Download a podcast of his biography here.
For more insight on Tom Thomson, here are some thoughts from some Canadian Leaders and Television Personalities:
Governor General David Johnston
Prime Minister Stephen Harper