Teachers Lesson Plans

The Group of Seven

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Frank Johnston, Fire-Swept, Algoma, 1920 and Franklin Carmichael, Wabagishik: Drowned Land, 1929

Frank Johnston and Franklin Carmichael considered natural scourges to be as fascinating a subject as verdant scenery, so they were able to interpret, in the foreground, the silence and tranquility of a burnt or drowned forest. The verticalness of the dead tree trunks captures our interest and leads our eyes towards the distant hills, which were spared by the natural disasters. The palette used in the two works is well-suited to the subject: dull washed-out tones to illustrate the ravages of fire in Fire-Swept, Algoma, and blues and greys conveying the force of the water in Wabajisik: Drowned Land. The Group of Seven was innovative, at times preferring austere and rugged landscapes to the vibrant colours of lush vegetation.