FRANK HANS JOHNSTON, O.S.A., A.R.C.A.
J. Merritt Malloney’s Gallery, Toronto
Private Collection, Toronto
The flamboyant and restless original member of the Group of Seven, Frank Hans (Franz) Johnston (1888-1949) had developed a deep and lasting love for the landscape of northern Ontario. Although he shared this passion with the Group members, his depiction of his homeland grew increasingly realistic with time and distinctly detached from the stylistic evolution of his fellow artists. Until his last days, he remained an independent spirit and faithful to his own artistic convictions.
Johnston was particularly fond of depicting winter scenes of glistening white-covered snow banks flanking streams of dark water and set against evergreens. He was flawlessly adept at capturing the soft and shimmering glow of light on snow that perfectly captures the feel of the cool, crisp air. This painting of the Longlac area above Lake Superior is representative of his painterly style that evokes the majestic grandeur and awe-inspiring views of the Canadian wilderness. Above all, it depicts the spirit of the true north.