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medium: Oil »
support: on canvas »
year(s): 1912 »   //  1913 »
Northern Lake
Winter 1912–13
Alternate titles: A Northern Lake; Northern River; Stormy Bay
Oil on canvas
28 1/4 x 40 5/16 in. (71.7 x 102.4 cm)

Exhibition History

1913 OSA: Ontario Society of Artists, Toronto, Ontario, Ontario Society of Artists Forty-First Annual Exhibition, no. 88.
1932 Thomson: National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Imperial Economic Conference, no. 18, as lent by the Normal School, Ottawa.
1935 AGT Margaret Eaton: Art Gallery of Toronto, Loan Exhibition of Paintings Celebrating the Opening of the Margaret Eaton Gallery and the East Gallery, no. 153.
1941 Thomson: Art Gallery of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Horatio Walker - Tom Thomson, as A Northern Lake, or Stormy Bay.
1967 Thomson: Tom Thomson Art Gallery, Owen Sound, Ontario, Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven, no. 1.
1970 NGC: National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, The Group of Seven, no. 18 (repr.).
1971 Thomson: Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Ontario, The Art of Tom Thomson, no. 1 (repr. col.).
1982 Sault Ste. Marie: Art Gallery of Algoma, Algoma, Ontario, Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven
1984 AGO: Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Ontario, The Mystic North: Symbolist Landscape Painting in Northern Europe and North America, 1890 - 1940, no. 116 (repr.).
2002 Thomson: National Gallery of Canada; Art Gallery of Ontario, Ottawa, Ontario, Tom Thomson, no. 8 (repr. col.).

Published References

Fairbairn 1913: "Younger Painters Do Time at O.S.A. Exhibition"
Globe 1913: "Buy Pictures for the Normal Schools"
Kyle 1913: "The Ontario Society of Artists," pp. 186–187.
OSA 1914: "Annual Report," p. 6.
MacCallum 1918: "Tom Thomson: Painter of the North," p. 376.
Housser 1926: A Canadian Art Movement: The Story of the Group of Seven, pp. 62–63.
Robson 1937: Tom Thomson, p. 7.
Hubbard 1962: The Gallery of Canadian Art, 2 Tom Thomson, pp. 7, 15, fig. 5 (repr.).
Harper 1966: Painting in Canada: A History, p. 278 as Northern River (2nd edition 274).
Davies 1967: Tom Thomson: The Story of a Man Who Looked for Beauty and for Truth in the Wilderness, pp. 34, 41–42.
Groves 1968: AY's Canada, p. 110.
Addison 1969: Tom Thomson, The Algonquin Years, p. 9 (repr.).
Mellen 1970: The Group of Seven, pp. 30–31, 61 (repr. col.).
Reid 1970: The Group of Seven, pp. 52–53, 55.
Murray 1971: The Art of Tom Thomson, pp. 25, 56–57 (repr. col.).
Arbec 1972: "Rétrospective Tom Thomson"
Lord 1974: Painting in Canada: Towards a People's Art, p. 126 (repr.).
Reid 1975: Tom Thomson: The Jack Pine, pp. 5–6 (repr.).
Town & Silcox 1977: Tom Thomson: The Silence and the Storm, p. 55.
Varley 1978: Lake in Algonquin Park: An Examination of an Early Painting by Tom Thomson, (repr.).
Nasgaard 1984: The Mystic North: Symbolist Landscape Painting in Northern Europe and North America 1890-1940, p. 179 (repr.).
Town 1985: "Thomson, Thomas John," p. 1817.
McMichael, R 1986: One Man's Obsession, p. 327.
Davis 1998: Thomson, Thomas John (Tom), pp. 996, 998.
Murray 1998: Tom Thomson: Design for a Canadian Hero, p. 53.
Reid and Hill 2002: Tom Thomson, pp. 60, 74, 120, 123, 130, 160 (repr. col.), 312, 330n35.
King 2010: Defiant Spirits: The Modernist Revolution of the Group of Seven, pp. 92–93 as A Northern Lake.


In an interview with Lawrence Sabbath, 1960 (transcript, Agnes Etherington Art Gallery, Kingston), F.H. Varley recalled that he and Thomson painted together in the offices of Rous and Mann, Toronto on weekends and that Thomson, persuaded by A.Y. Jackson, enlarged a painting from a sketch Jackson had chosen. In the painting, Thomson used the palette knife. Varley also remembered that J.E.H. MacDonald found the picture too dark and gave Thomson the advice to use brighter colour as well as finding Thomson an appropriate frame for the picture so that he would enter it in the O.S.A. This could be the painting Varley remembered since Thomson used a palette knife to render parts of the work.

Record last updated March 3, 2016. Please note that the information on this and all pages is periodically reviewed and subject to change.