ALEXANDER YOUNG JACKSON, O.S.A., R.C.A.
Private Collection, Ontario
With a keen eye and light touch, A.Y. Jackson captures the unique signatures of a Dutch landscape. A tiny windmill is just visible on the horizon, as are four hayricks near the centre of the painting, rendered in subtle progression so as to present a strong impression of perspectival depth.
The Montreal-born Jackson travelled to Europe on three separate occasions between 1905 and 1913, where he became influenced by the Impressionist movement. This painting was created during Jackson’s second trip, from 1907 to 1909. He had travelled to Paris to study at the Académie Julian, but deferred his studies after only one semester in order to travel across France, Italy, Belgium and the Netherlands.
The Impressionistic objective to capture the elusive effects of light and shadow can be seen in this painting. Jackson masterfully renders a break in the clouds by layering a few strokes of bright white over moody yellows and taupes. A dike snakes its way through the middle of the scene, echoed by an unpaved path, guiding the eye to a patch of countryside bathed in sunlight, a swath of brightness on an overcast day.