Purchase - 1975.7
© Contact McMichael Canadian Art Collection

1 Bess Harris and R. G. P. Colgrove, eds., Lawren Harris. (Toronto: Macmillan, 1969), 62, 72-76.

2 Megan Bice, "Lawren Harris," The McMichael Canadian Art Collection = La Collection McMichael d'art canadien (Kleinburg, Ontario, The McMichael Canadian Art Collection, 1989), 49-62

When I first saw the mountains, travelled through them, I was most discouraged. Nowhere did they measure up to the advertising folders, or to the conception these had formed in my mind's eye. But, after I became better acquainted with the mountains, camped and tramped and lived among them, I found a power and majesty and a wealth of experience at nature's summit which no travel-folder ever expressed.

If we view a great mountain soaring into the sky, it may excite us, evoke an uplifted feeling within us. There is an interplay of something we see outside of us with our inner response.

The artist takes that response and its feelings and shapes it on canvas with paint so that when finished it contains the experience. 1

Lawren Harris's search for "a deeper and more universal expression" took him farther afield not only geographically but also artistically, eventually to a complete abstraction. His first visit to the Rockies was in 1924; it was a journey he repeated annually for the next three years. His paintings of the mountains ... show the realization of his painterly and religious ideals: the landscape is simplified to its basic forms, dominant and massive. In Mt. Lefroy the diagonal lines of the mountain's shape draw the viewer's eye toward the white peak and the light surrounding it. Harris's emphasis on the spiritual was the quality in his work that so impressed Emily Carr. The two artists were deeply empathetic with each other's personal visions. 2

Read about the history of the Group of Seven

Read about the life of Lawren Harris