Art Gallery of Alberta

Season to Season: Exploring Canada’s Winter Wonderland

A.Y. Jackson, Road to L’Islet, between 1920–1965. Oil on canvas. Art Gallery of Alberta Collection, gift of Jane (Poole) McBride and Michael McBride.

Written by Lynda Vang

Snow blankets the ground while tree tops glisten with frost; winter is officially upon us. From snow covered mountains to vast prairie skies, Canadian winters are altogether iconic and familiar.

The AGA’s newest exhibition, Season to Season, Coast to Coast: A Celebration of the Canadian Landscape, features the nation’s terrain in each of the seasons and all of their colours. Taking inspiration from the season, we take a closer look at some of the winter landscapes included in exhibition. From Krieghoff to McKee we invite you on a journey through Season to Season’s winter wonderland.

For a closer look at the Canadian landscapes through all the seasons, be sure to visit: Season to Season, Coast to Coast: A Celebration of the Canadian Landscape exhibiting from December 3, 2016–February 20, 2017

Road to L’Islet

Enchanted by trips to the villages along the St. Lawrence, Jackson drew inspiration from the Quebec countryside. As he stated, “I’m never happier than when I’m sketching down the south bank of the St. Lawrence.” In Road to L’Islet, Jackson captures the warmth and charm of the villages that inspired him.

Fun fact: If you look very closely at the painting, you will find that one of the light posts is not like the others.

Winter Afternoon

John McKee, Winter Afternoon, 1981. Acrylic on canvas. Art Gallery of Alberta Collection, purchased in 1981 with funds donated by Wolf Willow Developments and matched by funds from The Canada Council Art Bank.

John McKee is a renowned landscape painter known for practicing restrained thoughtfulness and a unique sense of visual intelligence. Winter Afternoon captures the vast openness of the Prairies; where the stark and isolating colours of the prairie sky and snow covered field contrasts with the signs of life in the centre of the work.

Quebec Winter

Cornelius Krieghoff, Quebec Winter, between 1846-1872. Oil on canvas. Art Gallery of Alberta Collection, gift of The Ernest E. Poole Foundation, 1975.

Cornelius Krieghoff was born in Amsterdam and later moved to Montreal in 1840. Upon moving to Canada, he quickly became enamoured with capturing life in Quebec. Depicting French-Canadian winters filled with exuberance, snow covered landscapes, sleigh rides and other winter festivities, Cornelius lovingly painted idyllic scenes from the life and spirit of Quebec at the time.

Peter’s Rock

Hilary Prince (b. 1945), Peter’s Rock, 1985. Acrylic on canvas. Art Gallery of Alberta Collection, purchased with Alberta Art Foundation funds.

Born in Johannesburg, South Africa and later immigrating to Canada, Hilary Prince combines distinct forms of the Canadian landscape: the trees, mountains, and the skies with the emotion that the landscapes inspire within her. In her painting, Peter’s Rock, Hilary is able evoke the familiar sense of awe one feels upon driving towards a majestic snow-capped mountain.