24 August, 2009

A bit of Canadian Art History

Flickr user Fanny
Unicorn design on the Canadian parliament buildings

Exploring Canadian history and culture has truly been interesting. Their art is of course, a notable aspect of their history and culture. It is remarkable to see how Canadian art has changed and developed over the years.
Like many other areas in the "New World", Canadian art began with the indigenous people. Although not much is recorded of them or their artwork, these early people, or aboriginals, as they are called in Canada, did express themselves through wall carvings and paintings, sculptures and body paintings. Basket making, as well as the production of dream catchers have also originated from the aboriginals. Throughout the generations these forms of art have been kept alive by descendants and have developed quite nicely -
Free Spirit Gallery-.
As the story goes, the indigenous were invaded by the Europeans in the late 15th century. The vast land of Canada served as both English and French colonies, and so European influence, paricularly that of the French and English, could be noted in Canadian art over the centuries. Quite contrary to most modern-day Canadian art, much of 15th century Canadian paintings reflected European life. Such art remained popular up until the 19th century when it began to die out. During this period, many portraits of significant European figures were of course painted in Canada, such as that of the monarchy of European nations, specifically England and France.
With an increase in the amount immigrants from nations all over the world over the course of time, Canadian culture has been built up by the meshing of several different cultures. The realm of art in Canada has increased its borders greatly and there is no limit to what may inspire a Canadian artist - be it the natives, European culture, Canadian lifestyle or just simply nature.


  1. Hello my friend,

    Great article! I thought you might be interested in this segment of Canada's art history. "The Group of Seven"

    here is the link to WikipediA


    They were a strong influence for me at the begining of my journey.


  2. I'll second that. Looked into their work a few years ago, after reading an article about Tom Thompson. Excellent.

  3. Thanks a lot for the guidance to this article. I read it and I do find it interesting. Great!!