Monday, March 18, 2019

Tom Thompson

After visiting the Tom Thompson Art Gallery for the first time I feel I owe you a few comments about who Thompson was.  To keep it simple, Tom Thompson was in my mind Canada's greatest artist.  Often mistaken as a member of the Group o Seven, Canada's first art school, Tom was actually the chief predecessor of that group.  He grew up in the village of Leith, just a few miles down the bay from Owen Sound, hence the gallery's name and presence in Owen sound.

The Gallery has a small permanent gallery of Thompson's art (though none of the big pieces like 'The Jack Pine' or 'The West Wind', each worth over $1 million).  This is a bust of Thompson in bronze.

Thompson spent many of his great painting years in Algonquin Park, camping and canoeing as a true woodsman.  Sadly he died there in 1917, only 39.  There is some controversy over his death, whether from drowning or a bash on the head.

Most of Thompson's work was on small wood panels.  These ones were on display at the gallery.  I may well return to the theme of art, and tell you the story of the whole Group of Seven.

 April in Algonquin


 Here is the Historic Plaque and gravestone at Leith Church in memory of Thompson.  Note the paintbrushes left by an admirer.


  1. Have always enjoyed his art and his story, thanks for this

  2. Don't you wonder what he would have accomplished if he had lived longer?

  3. He was a gift to the world of art. Gone too soon. I love seeing his work at the National Gallery.

  4. Thompson is one of my favorites.

  5. It may have been on the documentary channel that I have seen some excellent documentaries on Tom Thompson and the Group of Seven as well. They are Canada's art legends from years ago with Tom Thompson in the forefront. The controversy around his death only deepens the man's mystic. Great painters all and for any of us who have been through northern Ontario we know the area of beautiful landscapes they found for their canvases.

  6. I've just looked at some of Thompson's work online, obviously a great artist and someone I ought to know more about.

  7. He accomplished so much in his short life. Thank you for introducing me to him. :-)