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James Wilson Morrice



James Wilson Morrice
Montreal 1865 – Tunis 1924




About 1911-1912


Oil on canvas


62.1 x 50.8 cm


Gift of Dr. G. R. McCall, inv. 1978.32


Quebec and Canadian Art

Canadian artist James Wilson Morrice studied at the Académie Julian in Paris and spent a significant part of his career in France. In 1908, he was a jury member for the Salon d’automne in Paris, along with Henri Matisse. Even though nothing is known of the relationship between the two artists prior to their trip together to Tangier in 1912, the influence of the master is evident in some of Morrice’s portraits from the early 1910s. However, it is rather through the work of Pierre Bonnard – who also became acquainted with Matisse in 1905 – that we can appreciate the portrait of Blanche, a model who inspired several intimate, decorative paintings. For Morrice, Bonnard was the “best man here now – since Gauguin died.” At the time, Morrice’s palette was brighter, and he made his subjects vibrate with complementary colours. Here, the intimate moment is accentuated through the pleasing chromatic harmonies.

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