ALFRED JOSEPH CASSON, O.S.A., P.R.C.A.
oil on board
9.5 ins x 11.5 ins; 24.1 cms x 29.2 cms
Casson preferred to paint winter scenes because he was drawn to the strong patterning of the stripped-down landscape. In summer, this same view would likely have presented an undifferentiated field of green, whereas winter permitted the artist to separate the gently rolling, snow-covered hills into fore, middle and backgrounds using sinuous bands of trees. Casson has knitted together the different elements in the lower half of the picture by using a restricted palette of brown, mauve and blue, then balanced the composition with the large expanse of almost empty sky above. The unobtrusive barn and snake fence are the only evidence of a human presence.
The label affixed to the back of the panel indicates that it was a gift from C.A.G. (“Chuck”) Matthews, (1890-1990) President of the commercial art firm, Sampson-Matthews where Casson worked. Matthews often gave artwork by his artist friends as gifts. The inscription, which offers the couple good wishes for hopes as high “as the hills around,” complements the subject of the painting.
Gift of C.A.G. Matthews
Private Collection, Toronto (by descent)