MAURICE GALBRAITH CULLEN, R.C.A.
LIGHT EFFECTS, BEAUPRÉ
oil on canvas
signed, Cullen Inventory No. 182
13 ins x 18 ins; 33 cms x 45.7 cms
When Maurice Galbraith Cullen returned from France in 1896, he and his circle of friends, which included James Wilson Morrice, William Brymner and Edmund Morris continued the tradition they had established there of accompanying one another on sketching trips. Among the places they visited together repeatedly was Beaupré, the subject of this work.
While Light Effects is not dated, it possesses many of the finest qualities of that earlier period with its contrasty bands of light and shadow.
It is delightful to imagine Cullen painting works such as this one in the company of Morrice, Brymner or Morris, striving to translate the lessons learned in France to suit the Canadian landscape and atmosphere.
A slash of gold mingling with pale salmon pink provides a striking contrast to the rich green tones of the bankside grasses. Cullen’s interpretation of the Beaupré twilight demonstrates his ability to render light convincingly.
Cullen, the Painter of Light, would become celebrated for his luminous winter scenes in oil and pastel, but clearly could dazzle in all seasons.
Conrad Graham, Maurice Cullen Retrospective Exhibition, (catalogue), Walter Klinkhoff Gallery, Montreal, September 16-30, 2000, page 4.
Crystal S. Parsons, Maurice Cullen and His Circle, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, 2009, page 11.
Canadian Fine Arts, Toronto
Private Collection, Hudson, Quebec