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Post-lockdown agenda: Item No. 1 – Canadian Impressionism at Hermitage

Canadian impressionist paintings

Maurice Cullen, Hiver à Moret, 1895, oil on canvas, 59,7 × 92,1 cm, Musée des beaux-arts de l’Ontario, Don de J.S. McLean, Canadian Fund, 1957, Photo © Art Gallery of Ontario 56/29

Im kicking myself for ignoring my initial impulse to visit the Hermitage Foundation in Lausane “no matter what” when their current exhibition Canada and Impressionism opened there in late January.

Being Canadian and a fanatic for almost all things Impressionism I knew I’d be Impressed (excuse the pun) by the collection of a hundred paintings by Canadian painters, which has been loaned to the Hermitage largely by the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa.

The exhibition is scheduled to continue until its planned closure on 24 May, which leaves me a few weeks to make good on that initial impulse and get myself to the Hermitage not long after its scheduled re-opening — all going extremely well — on Friday, 1 May.

In the meantime, it tops the list of my Post-lockdown agenda of ‘must-see/do’ events. Then again, we don’t have to leave the comfort and safety of our homes to enjoy a little primer for what awaits us in May.

So here is a little introduction that I hope will brighten your day (or evening) and maybe encourage you to create a Post-lockdown agenda of your own. If it does, please send me an email or write in the Comments below which items top your list and why.

And if you’re more organised than me and have already gotten yourself to the exhibition, please do the same and let me know what you thought of it.


Venturing to Paris to study with the masters

Franklin Brownell, L’heure du thé, 1901, oil on canvas on a panel, 39,1 × 28,9 cm Collection particulière, Photo Frank Tancredi


It was in Paris that the artistic adventure of young Canadian painters began in the late 1900s attracted by the promise of studying with the greatest artists of the time in the global capital of fine arts.

In the tradition of the Impressionist Masters Monet, Renoir and Pissarro, they too were interested in the transience of atmospheres and the tumult of modern life.

After their studies, some remained in Europe while others returned to Canada, where they introduced the public to Impressionist painting. Deploying an innovative style to represent subjects of local daily life and the splendor of the landscapes, they grasped the specificities of light and the harshness of the Canadian climate, rendering works that were both surprising and seductive.


Capturing the Canadian landscape

Arthur Dominique Rozaire, Hiver, seaux de sève, Québec, 1913, oil on canvas, 66,7 x 55,9 cm, Collection particulière, Toronto, Photo MBAC


With a hundred paintings, the exhibition at the Hermitage presents 35 major Canadian artists, many unknown beyond the borders of their country. The works in the exhibition are grouped into eight sections retracing the journey of Canadian painters from their introduction to Impressionism to their reinterpretation of the movement.

This unique project allows European audiences to discover the originality of Canadian creation at the dawn of the 20th century, a unique opportunity made possible thanks to the exceptional support of important museums, mainly in Canada, as well as private collections. ♣


Clarence Gagnon, Brise d’été à Dinard, 1907, oil on canvas, 54 × 81 cm, Collection du Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, Achat Restauration effectuée par le Centre de conservation du Québec (1937.01), Photo © MNBAQ, Jean-Guy Kérouac


Canada and Impressionism
Hermitage Foundation
24 January to 24 May 2019
Hermitage Foundation
2, rte du Signal,
CH-1000 Lausanne 8
T. +41 (0)21 320 50 01
Visits and activities
Practical Info: hours, fees, transport
L’Esquisse café-restaurant



Poster artwork: Le train en hiver, v. 1913-14, oil on canvas, 56 x 71 cm, Collection Donald R. Sobey, Photo MBAC


  1. Martin says

    Home away from home… great ‘postcards’from the past… Thank you for sharing


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