Private Collection, Toronto
While this work predates Dorland’s summer residency at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection and the acclaimed exhibition that was developed as a result of his time there, it is hard not to see a ghost-like figure of Thomson or a surrogate for him (perhaps the artist himself?) standing on the edge of Dorland’s lake. Dorland was interested in the mythology of Thomson, an idea which he explored in depth for the McMichael show. In looking at this picture, however, one needs to consider if the preoccupation with this early Canadian master is Dorland’s or our own, so pervasive is the narrative around the artist’s untamed genius and mysterious death.