Northern River (1914-15) by Tom Thomson

Northern River - Tom Thomson - 1915

Artwork Information

TitleNorthern River
ArtistTom Thomson
MediumOil on Canvas
Dimensions115.1 x 102 cm (45 3/4 x 40 1/4 in.)
Art MovementPost-Impressionism
Current LocationNational Gallery of Canada, Ottawa
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About Northern River

Northern River is a masterpiece oil painting created by Tom Thomson during 1914-15. The artist was inspired to create the painting by a sketch he completed during the same winter, likely in Algonquin Park. The canvas measures an impressive 115.1 x 102.0 cm and depicts a heavily forested river in Algonquin Park, located between Georgian Bay and the Ottawa River in Ontario, Canada.

One of the dominant features of the painting is its foreground that consists of dark trees that partially cover the view of the winding river flowing into the background. Tom Thomson was born in Claremont, Ontario and worked at Grip Limited as an engraver from 1909 before joining Rous and Mann Press later on.

The “Northern River” defined Tom Thomson’s artistic style that can be described as modern impressionism with a preference for landscapes. This masterpiece illustrates his exceptional ability to blend colors such as blue, green, yellowish-brown to give off an aura of serenity while highlighting nature’s beauty. Tom Thompson was regarded as one of Canada’s influential artists who died at 39 years old shortly before his art became well known.”

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