Arthur Lismer R.C.A.

Pines and Sumac, Georgian Bay, 1946

oil on board
12x15.75 in.

Acquired directly from the artist by Theodosia Dawes Bond Thornton, January 13, 1949 for $37.50;
Estate of Theodosia Dawes Bond Thornton, Montreal;
Sale of Heffel Fine Art, November 25, 2010, lot #166;
Private collection

Lois Darroch, Bright Land, A Warm Look at Arthur Lismer, 1981, p.104;
Theodosia Dawes Bond Thornton, Personal Art Collection Catalogue, reproduced, unpaginated, cat. R19

Georgian Bay was a central location in the life of Arthur Lismer. It was there, he felt, that he truly found himself as a painter. It was his Lake O’Hara, his Lake Superior, his rural Quebec. Each member of the Group of Seven found a region of Canada where the scenery resonated exactly with the intent of their art, and for Lismer, it was Georgian Bay. Pines and Sumac, Georgian Bay is a fine example of this, where the wild forest, with its particular tangle of vegetation, the windswept shapes of the trees, the exposed rock and variety of colour are captured in vibrant, almost frenzied brushwork. We can feel the forest blowing when we look at this work.

The estate of Theodosia Dawes Bond Thornton (1915 – 2009) contained some of the most important works in Canadian art. The daughter of a Vice-President and General Manager for the
Canadian National Railway’s central region, she was able to travel to many of the locations depicted by the Group of Seven as a child. On a school trip to the National Gallery of Canada at the age of 16, she encountered Group works, and having a profound reaction, was flooded with memories of the trips with her father. “That was the art I saw” she would later recall, and her destiny as a collector was
sealed. She collected the very finest examples of Canadian art, of which this is one.


Arthur Lismer, painter, educator (b at Sheffield, Eng 27 June 1885; d at Montréal 23 Mar 1969). Lismer studied at Sheffield School of Art 1899-1906 and the Académie royale des beaux-arts, Antwerp, 1906-07. He moved to Canada in 1911, seeking work as a commercial illustrator. At the Grip Engraving Co…