Teachers Lesson Plans

Lord Dalhousie and the Arts

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What is the biggest difference between these two paintings?

As a topographical artist, Woolford's vision of Detroit is an exact rendering of a specific place that he saw. Probably on Dalhousie's orders, Woolford depicted the town in such detail because Detroit at this time was part of the enemy territory. The town is recognizable as a place and Woolford sights its strategic position on the shores of the Detroit River and identifies its important buildings. Although Woolford made many sketches during this trip with Dalhousie, this is his only major painting of the enemy shoreline. Woolford's style is very academic. He uses linear and aerial perspective to unify the composition and to create a strong sense of space.

Forrest was not interested in depicting the place realistically. He was more interested in capturing the magic of the changing Fall colours, to which Dalhousie was very sensitive. He probably placed his easel in the lower right foreground of this well kept property. His style, unlike Woolford's traditional landscape format, is very personal and very modern in the use of stylization, bright colours, and composition in the form of a freize. The focus on the changing autumn colours is also a rather unusual subject for a painting at this time. Forrest spent two years in the early 1820's as Dalhousie's assistant military secretary and had no equal among watercolourists working in Canada at the time.