J.E.H. MacDonald

J.E.H. MacDonald 1873 - 1932

The English born painter James Edward Harvey MacDonald born May 12, 1873, and died Nov. 26, 1932 who migrated to Canada in 1887, was the chief spokesman for the Group of Seven, landscape painters who brought the influence of modern European art to their depictions of northern Canada.

Using the dramatic colours and simplified forms of the symbolists, MacDonald captured the splendours of Algonquin Park, as well as the Georgian Bay and Algoma regions.

MacDonald, who was also a poet, was a disciple of Walt Whitman and Henry David Thoreau, whose works influenced both his writing and his painting. His works hang in every major museum across Canada including the National Gallery of Canada.

As a founding member of the Group of Seven, J.E.H. MacDonald challenged and vastly broadened the scope of Canadian art. MacDonald believed that art should express the "mood and character and spirit of the country", and he portrayed his vision in vast panoramas using dark, rich colours and a turbulent, patterned style.