ALEXANDER YOUNG JACKSON, O.S.A., R.C.A.
Fireside Gallery Inc., Kleinburg
Private Collection, Maple, Ontario
A.Y. Jackson (1882-1974) first travelled to Europe in 1905 and returned in 1907, studying art in France at the Académie Julien. He was particularly impressed by the work of the Impressionists. In his early years as a painter, Jackson, like many of his contemporaries, explored this stylistic phenomenon. While Jackson was determined to create an art that was exclusively nationalistic in both subject and technique, he had always remained, in some ways, indebted to the training of his earlier years.
Penetang Bay, which depicts the town of Penetanguishene in Ontario’s Simcoe County, reflects an earlier stage in the painter’s pictorial development. Here, small dabs of paint come together to conjure the landscape. The clouds and sky in this work are lively and their treatment is reminiscent of the sky and clouds he painted in his famous The Edge of the Maple Wood (1910). Now in the collection of the National Gallery of Canada, Edge was a catalyst to the formation of the Group of Seven. Lawren Harris first purchased it as a gesture of his belief in Jackson’s work, sewing the seeds of the confraternity that would inspire a new movement in Canadian art.