The Historical Representation Of The Canadian Wilderness

993 WordsMar 17, 20164 Pages
Alfred Joseph Casson’s (1898-1992) art work captures more than the historical representation of the idyllic landscape of the Canadian wilderness. It is the premise of this paper, Casson’s paintings reflect and represent the economic and political environment of two time periods - Post World War I and the Great Depression, and post-World War II. The two examples of his paintings are, The Old Mill Elora, (35.6 x 40.7 cm), 1930, watercolour on paper, in private collection, painted post-World War I during the great depression; and the other Prelude, 1945, oil on Masonite, (76.2 x 91.5 cm), in The Faculty Club, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, painted post-World War II (Paul Duval, 1980, p. 18). Comparative analysis of these two paintings will support this theory as well as research. Casson’s personal perspective was influenced by the economic and political environment at these times which were recorded through his art work, both in his commercial career as an engraver and designer, and, as an artist. One could argue, Casson was a blend of creative commercial genius and artistic designer that communicated the ideology of rural landscapes and rustic buildings into his paintings. The sharp lines and block colors are reminiscent of the lithographic designs. He represented craftsmanship and creative quality in his commercial work and art. His field excursions to remote areas in Ontario were artistic experiences to sketch and paint as part of his development of his skills.
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