ALEXANDER YOUNG JACKSON, O.S.A., R.C.A.
McCready Galleries Inc., Toronto
Galerie d’art Michel Bigué, St. Saveur-des-Monts, QC
Private Collection, Toronto
On his 1914 trip to the Canadian Rockies, A.Y. Jackson (1882-1974) was commissioned to produce sketches for paintings that would later become part of the advertising and hotel decoration for Canadian Northern Railways. Having completed the line in 1913 at great expense, the owners and investors of the railway were looking to drum up more business by depicting the beautiful sights of the Yellowhead Pass and Jasper area in colourful murals and posters to be displayed in lobbies and train stations. Together with fellow painter J.W. Beatty, Jackson journeyed out to the Rockies for the first time in his life. His employers wanted the mountainscapes depicted accurately, with very few liberties taken, and Jackson certainly accomplished that task.
Titled Rocky Mountain Sketch, 1914 on two labels on the reverse, the vantage point from which Jackson painted this lot is surely Medicine Lake, 25 kilometres southeast of Jasper.
Today, this view remains unchanged and were you to venture there in July you would find that the lake is filled with freshly melted snow and glacial run-off, a cool and clear sight. As summer progresses to fall, the lake is reduced to a series of ponds. Fortuitously, Jackson captured Medicine Lake at the height of its summertime beauty.