Maurice Cullen R.C.A.
The Little Cache River, c. 1922
Cullen Inventory no. 1437
Laing Galleries, Toronto;
Galerie Walter Klinkhoff Inc.;
Important Canadian Art: Exhibition and Sale, Galerie Walter Klinkhoff, Montreal, 2007
Already established as a Canadian artist of note, Maurice Cullen converted from a traditional Academic style – in which he had several years of training – to an Impressionistic, light-infused approach, almost immediately upon his arrival in Paris in 1887. His interest was specific to the Impressionist’s approach to brushwork and to colour, the first of which was free and loose and wild by comparison to Canadian standards, and the latter of which allowed him to explore reflection, shadow, and atmosphere in new ways. He took these traits back with him to Canada when he returned in 1895, where he applied them to his subjects.
Primarily a landscape painter, The Cache River and the Little Cache River were regular haunts of his, and he painted there in all seasons, bringing his Impressionistic sensibilities to the Quebec landscape. He was a quintessential plein air painter, working out-of-doors year round, even in the coldest of winters, when long periods spent stationary in pursuit of a subject would have been a significant challenge.