Arthur Lismer

Arthur Lismer

Sand Lake Algoma, ca. 1920
Oil On Panel
9 x 12 inches


Arthur Lismer 27 June 1885 – 23 March 1969 was an English-born Canadian painter and member of the Group of Seven. At age 13 he apprenticed at a photo-engraving company. He was awarded a scholarship, and used this time to take evening classes at the Sheffield School of Arts from 1898 until 1905. In 1905, he moved to Antwerp, Belgium, where he studied art at the Academie Royale.

Lismer immigrated to Canada in 1911, settled in Toronto, Ontario and took a job with Grip Ltd. – a satirical magazine. The collaboration of four artists at Grip gradually evolved into the Group of Seven, the famous Canadian art movement known for its portrayals of North American wilderness. Another artist also associated with the group was Tom Thomson, although technically he died before the group formed. He also worked with the cadre at Grip.

Arthur Lismer’s style was influenced by his pre-Canadian experience (primarily in Antwerp), where he found the Barbizon and post-impressionist movements a key inspiration. Collaborating with the group of artists who would, in 1919, become the Group of Seven, Lismer exhibited the characteristic organic style, and spiritual connection with the landscape that would embody that group’s work.

During the Centennial of the City of Toronto, in 1934, Lismer was on the Pictures Committee. In 1967, he was made a Companion of the Order of Canada. Lismer died on March 23, 1969 in Montreal, Quebec and was buried alongside other members of the Original Seven at the McMichael Gallery Grounds.

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