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River of Dreams: Impressionism on the St. Lawrence

June 22 - January 12

River of Dreams: Impressionism on the St. Lawrence

Painting of a church

Robert Pilot (1898–1967), St. Patrick’s Church, Montreal, oil on canvas, 71.7 x 91.4 cm, Comsatec Inc. Photo: Heffel Fine Art Auction House.

June 22, 2024 – January 12, 2025

About the Exhibition

In the late 19th century, the Impressionist movement found a footing in Canada, and Quebec artists quickly responded with works of rare beauty and sophistication. Many Quebec artists trained in France during this period, carrying the pollen of European modernism back with them to Canadian soil. Landscape and city scenes were staples of their work, and this show will assemble a choice collection of master works that trace a journey from the bustling streets of Montreal—then Canada’s financial capital—down the St. Lawrence River to Quebec City, through the beloved Charlevoix region and out to the windswept cliffs of the Gaspé Peninsula. The exhibition will offer not just a magisterial statement on the outstanding quality of Quebec painting, but also a glimpse into the heart and soul of a culture, seen through the eyes of her most beloved and foundational artists. The survey will include works by William Brymner, Ozias Leduc, James Wilson Morrice, Henrietta Mabel May, Marc-Aurèle de Foy Suzor-Coté, Maurice Cullen, Clarence Gagnon, and others, and will be drawn from a host of public and private collections. To accent these works, archival photography and objects of material culture from the period will be added to deepen the viewer’s experience of the moment in which the artists were working, augmented by historic recordings drawn from Quebecois musical culture. The result will be an immersive time-travel experience like no other.

Curated by Anne-Marie Bouchard and Sarah Milroy.

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H. Mabel May (1877–1971), Knitting, 1915, oil on panel, 91.4 x 102.2 cm, Pierre Lassonde Collection. Photo courtesy of Alan Klinkhoff Gallery, Toronto & Montreal

Curatorial Talk

Sunday, June 23
at 11:30 am
at the McMichael

Artworks from the Exhibition

Clarence Gagnon (1881–1942), Twilight, Baie St. Paul, c. 1920, oil on canvas, 49.9 x 65 cm, Gift of Mr. Syd Hoare, McMichael Canadian Art Collection, 1975.61

Robert Pilot (1898–1967), Canal Lachine, 1916, oil on wood panel, 12.7 x 17.7 cm, Purchase 2023, McMichael Canadian Art Collection, 2023.22


June 22
January 12
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