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Medium: Oil »
Support: on canvas »
Year(s): 1912 »   //  1913 »
Northern Lake
Alternate titles: A Northern Lake; Northern River; Stormy Bay
Winter 1912–13
Oil on canvas
28 1/4 x 40 5/16 in. (71.7 x 102.4 cm)
Exhibition History
Ontario Society of Artists, Art Museum of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario Society of Artists Forty-First Annual Exhibition, April 5–26, 1913, no. 88.
National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, Imperial Economic Conference, July 18, 1932–January 23, 1933, no. 18, as lent by the Normal School, Ottawa.
Art Gallery of Toronto, Loan Exhibition of Paintings Celebrating the Opening of the Margaret Eaton Gallery and the East Gallery, November 8, 1935, no. 153.
Art Gallery of Toronto, Toronto, Horatio Walker - Tom Thomson, January 1941, as A Northern Lake, or Stormy Bay.
Tom Thomson Art Gallery, Owen Sound, Ontario, Canada, Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven, May 27–June 11, 1967, no. 1.
National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, The Group of Seven, June 19–September 8, 1970, no. 18, (repr.) Traveled to: Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Montreal, September 22–October 31, 1970.
Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, The Art of Tom Thomson, October 30–December 12, 1971, no. 1, (repr. col.) Traveled to: Norman Mackenzie Art Gallery, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, January 15–February 3, 1972; Winnipeg Art Gallery, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, February 25–March 31, 1972; Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Montreal, April 14–May 28, 1972; Confederation Art Gallery, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada, July 2–September 5, 1972.
Art Gallery of Algoma, Algoma, Ontario, Canada, Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven, July 1982.
Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, The Mystic North: Symbolist Landscape Painting in Northern Europe and North America, 1890 - 1940, January 13–March 11, 1984, no. 116, (repr.) Traveled to: Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati, March 31–May 13, 1984.
National Gallery of Canada; Art Gallery of Ontario, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, Tom Thomson, June 7–September 8, 2002, no. 8, (repr. col.) Traveled to: Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, October 5, 2002–January 5, 2003; Musée du Québec, Quebec City, February 6–April 3, 2003; Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, May 30–September 7, 2003; Winnipeg Art Gallery, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, September 29–December 7, 2003.
Published References
Fairbairn, Margaret L. "Younger Painters Do Time at O.S.A. Exhibition." Toronto Daily Star, 12 April 1913.
"Buy Pictures for the Normal Schools." Globe (Toronto), 23 April 1913.
Kyle, Fergus. "The Ontario Society of Artists." In The Year Book of Canadian Art, 1913. Toronto: The Arts and Letters Club, 1913, pp. 186–187.
Ontario Society of Artists. "Annual Report.", p. 6.
MacCallum, J.M. "Tom Thomson: Painter of the North." Canadian Magazine 50, no. 5 (March 1918), p. 376.
Housser, Frederick Broughton. A Canadian Art Movement: The Story of the Group of Seven. Toronto: Macmillan Company of Canada Limited, 1926, pp. 62–63.
Robson, Albert H. Tom Thomson. , Canadian Art Series. Toronto: Ryerson Press, 1937, p. 7.
Hubbard, R.H. The Gallery of Canadian Art, 2 Tom Thomson. Toronto: Society For Art Publications and McClelland and Stewart Limited, 1962, pp. 7, 15, fig. 5 (repr.)
Harper, J. Russell. Painting in Canada: A History. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1955, p. 278 as Northern River (2nd edition 274).
Davies, Blodwen. Tom Thomson: The Story of a Man Who Looked for Beauty and for Truth in the Wilderness. Vancouver: Mitchell Press Limited, 1967, pp. 34, 41–42.
Groves, Naomi Jackson. AY's Canada. Toronto and Vancouver: Clark, Irwin & Company Ltd., 1968, p. 110.
Addison, Ottelyn, Elizabeth Harwood. Tom Thomson, The Algonquin Years. Toronto: Ryerson Press, 1969, p. 9 (repr.)
Mellen, Peter. The Group of Seven. Toronto, Montreal: McClelland and Stewart Ltd., 1970, pp. 30–31, 61 (repr. col.)
Reid, Dennis. The Group of Seven. Ottawa: The National Gallery of Canada, 1970. Exhibition catalogue, pp. 52–53, 55.
Murray, Joan. The Art of Tom Thomson. Toronto: Art Gallery of Ontario, 1971. Exhibition catalogue, pp. 25, 56–57 (repr. col.)
Arbec, Jules. "Rétrospective Tom Thomson." Le Devoir, 19 May, 1972.
Lord, Barry. Painting in Canada: Towards a People's Art. Toronto: NC Press, 1974, p. 126 (repr.)
Reid. Tom Thomson: The Jack Pine. 5, Masterpieces in the National Gallery of Canada, The National Gallery of Canada. Ottawa: 1975, pp. 5–6 (repr.)
Town, Harold, and David P. Silcox. Tom Thomson: The Silence and the Storm. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1977, p. 55.
Varley, Christopher. Lake in Algonquin Park: An Examination of an Early Painting by Tom Thomson. Stratford: The Gallery Stratfrod, 1978. Exhibition catalogue, (repr.)
Nasgaard, Roald. The Mystic North: Symbolist Landscape Painting in Northern Europe and North America 1890-1940. Toronto, Buffalo, London: Art Gallery of Ontario and University of Toronto Press, 1984. Exhibition catalogue, p. 179 (repr.)
Town, Harold. "Thomson, Thomas John." In The Canadian Encyclopedia III. Edmonton: Hurtig, 1985, p. 1817.
McMichael, Robert. "One Man's Obsession." One Man's Obsession. Scarborough: Prentice-Hall Canada Inc., 1986, p. 327.
Murray, Joan. Tom Thomson: Design for a Canadian Hero. Toronto: Dundurn Press, 1998, p. 53.
Davis, Ann. Thomson, Thomas John (Tom). Vol. 14 1911-1920, Dictionary of Canadian Biography. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1998, pp. 996, 998.
Reid, Dennis and Charles C. Hill. Tom Thomson. Vancouver/Toronto: Douglas & McIntyre with the Art Gallery of Ontario and the National Gallery of Canada, 2002. Exhibition catalogue, pp. 60, 74, 120, 123, 130, 160 (repr. col.), 312, 330n35.
King, Ross. Defiant Spirits: The Modernist Revolution of the Group of Seven. Vancouver/Toronto: Douglas & McIntyre and the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, 2011, pp. 92–93 as A Northern Lake.

In an interview with Lawrence Sabbath, 1960 (transcript, Agnes Etherington Art Gallery, Kingston), F.H. Varley recalled that he and Thomson painted together in the offices of Rous and Mann, Toronto on weekends and that Thomson, persuaded by A.Y. Jackson, enlarged a painting from a sketch Jackson had chosen. In the painting, Thomson used the palette knife. Varley also remembered that J.E.H. MacDonald found the picture too dark and gave Thomson the advice to use brighter colour as well as finding Thomson an appropriate frame for the picture so that he would enter it in the O.S.A. This could be the painting Varley remembered since Thomson used a palette knife to render parts of the work.

Record last updated March 3, 2016. Please note that the information on this and all pages is periodically reviewed and subject to change.
Citation: Murray, Joan. ""Northern Lake, Winter 1912–13 (1912-1913.01)." In Tom Thomson Catalogue Raisonné. (accessed on June 15, 2024).