A.Y. Jackson's "unknown" landscape

I visited McMaster University's Museum of Fine Arts in February 2020, to view several early (pre World War I) works by A.Y. Jackson. One of them, Girl in the Middy, an oil sketch of Rosa Breithaupt, herself painting by the water's edge, contained a bonus painting on the obverse side: a landscape catalogued as "unknown" in subject matter. Jackson's fellow member of the Group of Seven, A.J. Casson, actually wrote (in ink!) on it: "The sketch on the reverse side could possibly be an early AY Jackson." That clearly seems to be the case. But what does it depict?

Losing Tom

Tom Thomson, The Jack Pine. 1916-17. Collection: National Gallery of Canada. On a late July evening in 1917, A.Y. Jackson was expecting orders to leave the 23rd reserve battalion at Shoreham and return to front-line duty when a sergeant-major visited him. “An officer to see you, Jackson, at my place.” Adapted and condensed from Jackson's … Continue reading Losing Tom

A.Y. Jackson and Scotland’s artists

Charles Hodge Mackie, Entrance to the Grand Canal, Venice. By 1912. National Galleries, Scotland. As I researched my forthcoming Jackson's Wars, Robin Rodger, a documentation officer in the collections department of the Royal Scottish Academy of Art & Architecture, was a big help in sorting out A.Y. Jackson's relationship with several leading British artists early … Continue reading A.Y. Jackson and Scotland’s artists