ALFRED JOSEPH CASSON, O.S.A., P.R.C.A.
EDGE OF THE WOODS
oil on canvas board
signed; inscribed “August 1942” on the reverse
9.5 ins x 11.5 ins; 24.1 cms x 29.2 cms
In 1942, the year this work was painted, A.J. Casson had become art director at Sampson-Matthews. This oil sketch was likely painted during his summer holidays and is typical of Group of Seven sketches made in the field.
Here Casson has focused on the various states of timber he has encountered at the edge of the woods: an uprooted tree in the foreground, a burnt stump, and wood floating in the water. A short log on the shore sits at the centre of the picture. In encountering this scene, it is possible that Casson was reminded of the war that was being fought overseas, which was a preoccupation of all Canadians. In particular, however, Casson supervised the Sampson-Matthews silkscreen project, conceived by A.Y. Jackson and supported by the National Gallery, that adapted paintings by Canadian artists for use as silkscreen prints to decorate servicemen’s quarters in Canada and overseas during the Second World War.
Private Collection, Maple, ON