JACQUES GODEFROY DE TONNANCOUR, A.R.C.A.
oil on masonite
signed and dated ‘59
24 ins x 32 ins; 61 cms x 81.3 cms
For Jacques de Tonnancour, 1955 signaled a genre shift from the abstract to the landscape. His primary focus was on the terrain of northern Quebec, which held a certain power in his eyes. “The magnetic and engulfing charm and power of the north can in no time dissolve a man and lose him in a sea of silence and desolation. In many parts of Canada that is what we are up against, that enormous silence. This is the shape of Quebec.” Through loose gestures, swift strokes of paint and thin washes, de Tonnancour conveys the pensanteur or weight of the land. Under an effortless sky, tangles of branches and currents of energy twist about in greens and sienna. In de Tonnancour’s painting, one relinquishes the notion of controlled landscape and surrenders oneself to the dangers of the wilderness.
Jacques de Tonnancour in Elizabeth Kilbourn, Great Canadian Painting: A Century of Art, McClelland and Stewart Limited, 1966, page 45.
Private Collection, Toronto