MORRICE, James Wilson
(b. 1865, Montréal, d. 1924, Tunis)

Quai des Grands-Augustins, Paris

Oil on canvas, 50 x 62 cm
National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa

The reception of Impressionism in Canada began about a decade later than in the US in the 1890s. Though the fashion for Canadian artists after 1890 was to study in Paris at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts or the leading private academies, it was rare for them to grapple with the technique of Impressionism. When they did, it was either a case of direct imitation of the French model, as with Helen McNicoll, or - and this applied to the majority - of briefly adopting a style as a transition to other approaches. For James Wilson Morrice, the decorative structures and surfaces of Neo- and Post-Impressionism were finally of greater moment than the stylistic achievements of a Monet.