Arthur Lismer

Arthur Lismer was a painter and educator in 1885 in Sheffield, England and died in 1969 in Montreal, QC. Arthur Lismer was one of the founders of the Group of Seven and a crucial figure in the development of arts education in Canada. Lismer studied at Sheffield School of Art 1899–1906 and the Académie royale des beaux-arts, Antwerp, 1906–07. He moved to Canada in 1911, seeking work as a commercial illustrator.  In 1912 he returned to England to marry.  Lismer began his distinguished career as an art educator as principal of the Victoria School of Art and Design in Halifax 1916–19. Lismer returned to Toronto to become vice-president of the Ontario College of Art and Design University.  Lismer's first Canadian paintings were heavily influenced by the 19th century British landscape painters, Barbizon school artists, and post-impressionist Belgian painters, but during the 1920s he developed a powerful expressionist style of his own, characterized by raw colour, heavy impasto, deliberately coarse brushwork and compressed simplified forms. While an accomplished painter, Lismer devoted most of his time to art education. This activity left Lismer with little time to paint, but he produced many of his most original works after 1930, painting first in the Maritimes and Georgian Bay, and from 1951 at Long Beach, on Vancouver Island, each summer. The lurid, intestinal and claustrophobic qualities of many of these paintings were not to contemporary taste, but have gained acceptance in recent years, for they seem to have developed from a form of deep, personal expressionism.

The President Joins the Meeting
Graphite on Paper
3.5" x 2.5"
circa 1932