Autumn Cobalt, A.Y. Jackson, 1935. Oil on wood, 21.6 x 26.7 cm (8 1/2 x 10 1/2 in)
The Group of Seven’s radical interpretations of the country's vast wilderness established a style of landscape painting that made the geography of Canada iconic.
While Canada is known as the Great White North, thanks to the boundless blanket of snow that covers much of our land during the winter months, in the fall the country comes ablaze with the colours of deciduous leaves. The Group of Seven’s effort to capture the season’s beauty helped shape the way the rest of the world would come to know Canada. Thirty years after Autumn Cobalt was painted, the red maple leaf was selected for the new Canadian flag, becoming an emblem of Canadian identity!
Autumn was A.Y. Jackson’s favorite season to sketch in Northern Ontario. He would travel with his sketch box and create quick paintings, such as the one we see here. Jackson said of his work, “When I make a sketch, I emphasize the things I want and ignore the things I don't want. I don’t think of my sketch as a little picture, rather an idea for a big picture.” These sketches were brought back to his studio and used as models for bigger canvases which he would paint over the course of the winter. Autumn Cobalt was not made into a larger painting but this sketch is an excellent example of Jackson’s style.
“Apīch mazinibī’igeyān nawadj nimishaton kegonan wanadawendamān niponwendān kegonan ega ka nadawendamān. Ka’n nidanendasīn anwedjigan ka mazinabi’amān, nawadj nimamdonendān kegon gidji magizinade.” Algonquin
A master at reducing his view into bold shapes and colours, Jackson imposed order on the landscapes he painted by focusing on shapes and colours rather than individual details. Beginning in the bottom right-hand corner, the composition of Autumn Cobalt zigzags left and right all the way to the distant hills in the background, creating motion and rhythm in the composition. The tree line in the foreground uses bold colours to grab the viewer’s attention, while the triangles of grey and blue tailings lead the eye back through the landscape to the headframes and the rest of the town. The wavy lines created by the road, the tailings and the hills all lead us to the upper left-hand corner where we find Cobalt and Cobalt lake blending into the distant hills and sky. This sketch effectively depicts nature as a sharp, vibrant living being, constantly in motion, even in the stillness of a canvas.
We have four other locally-inspired works of art from the Group of Seven that we would like to tell you about:
Telling you about the Group of Seven is a group effort being made by these partners:
24 Silver Street, Cobalt, Ontario P0J 1C0
The Cobalt Mining Musem has hundreds of artefacts related to the silver boom at the turn of the last century. Artefacts related to the experience of workers, as well as women and immigrant communities, tell a story of Canada's last great mineral rush.
Spring Pulse Poetry Festival
Box 247, Cobalt, ON P0J1C0
Spring Pulse Poetry Festival is Northern Ontario's largest poetry/arts annual event. Audiences have rated it Canada's best-valued poetry festival.
38 Silver Street, P.O. Box 559, Cobalt, Ontario P0J 1C0
Custom framing, regional and local artwork, pottery, carvings, sculptures, unique gifts of all kinds.
P0J 1C0, Cobalt, ON P0J1C0
First Nations owned and operated arts and crafts store specializing in moccasins.
P.O. Box 70, Cobalt, Ontario P0J1C0
Cobalt is a dynamic community nestled in the heart of the Pre-Cambrian Shield. Named Ontario’s Most Historic Town and a Parks Canada National Historic Site, Cobalt enjoys all of the services of much larger communities in a relaxed lifestyle. The town’s modern…
937740 Marsh Bay Road, RR1, Cobalt, ON P0J 1C0
Marsh Bay Resort is a family friendly resort offering cottage rentals, full service RV sites, camping sites. Motorized and non-motorized boat rentals are available. The swimming beach and playgrounds will keep children happy and busy.
30 Silver St., P.O. Box 29, Cobalt, Ontario P0J 1C0
Our theatre is an intimate 250-seat auditorium built in 1926. Situated in Ontario's Most Historic Town, Cobalt, Ontario.
Bucke Park Rd, North Cobalt, ON P0J 1R0
If you are in the Temiskaming Shores area, don't miss the amazing opportunity to visit Devil's Rock. It ranks among the best scenic views in the province. The view from the top is simply spectacular. A fault cliff with a 600 ft face rising 300 ft above Lake…
Cobalt Historical Society
21 Silver Street, Cobalt, ON P0J 1C0
Dedicated to preserving and promoting the mining heritage of the Town of Cobalt, the Cobalt Historical Society are the keepers of the Heritage Silver Trail - a self-guided tour through the town and the back roads of Coleman Township. Visitors are able to tour dozens…
325 Farr Drive, Box 2050, Haileybury, Ontario P0J 1K0
Enterprise Temiskaming is one of 54 Small Business Enterprise Centres in Ontario offering entrepreneurs all the tools they need to start and grow their businesses. We focus on providing support to start-up and small enterprises during their initial years of…