National Gallery of Canada / Musée des beaux-arts du Canada

Annual Bulletin 2, 1978-1979

Annual Index
Author & Subject

A. Y. Jackson in France, Belgium and Holland:
A 1909 Sketch book

by Rosemarie L. Tovell 

Pages  1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5   


1 Thirteen pages have been torn out of the sketchbook. At least five were used by Jackson as writing material for two letters sent to his family. Of the remaining seven sheets, one was used for a note or an unaccounted-for letter and another was used for a pencil drawing.

2 Letter to his mother, 14 September 1909, Episy. November 25 is the approximate date A. Y. gave his family for his departure from Episy or France. He was in Montreal by Christmas 1909. The author wishes to thank Dr Naomi Jackson Groves, A. Y. Jackson's niece, for making available the family letters, as well as her extensive notes (hereafter referred to as NJG notes) on Jackson's travels and paintings.

3 In a letter to his mother dated 5 June 1909, Episy, Jackson writes that he has several large canvases going and hopes to have a dozen large ones and about two dozen smaller paintings finished before he leaves for Rolland.

4 For more information on the colourful Mme Goix, the reader is referred to A. Y. Jackson's autobiography, A Painter's Country.

5 NJG notes.

6 Letter to his mother, 12 July 1909, Amsterdam. This letter describes in detail Jackson's activities from his departure from Paris to arts his arrival in Amsterdam on 12 July 1909. It also includes his projected activities for the following week.

7 Ibid. It should be noted that A. Y. does not mention having done any sketching on this particular outing.

8 Ibid.

9 Near these drawings on page 8 recto can also be found a drawing of the Phantom Hunter. He may have made this illustration of the Canadian legend for Hardy during one of their conversations at the pension where they stayed. Two more small drawings on the inside back cover illustrate the mechanics of the snowshoe and how it is worn.

10 Letter to his mather, op. cit.

11 Ibid. Matthijs Maris (1839-1917), Willem Maris (1844-1910), Jacob Maris (1837-1897), and Anton Mauve (1838-1888). It is interesting to note that, with the exception of Rembrandt, the artists mentioned represent the best of the group of Dutch Barbizon artists avidly purchased by Canadian collectors, a group Jackson always claimed to despise.

12 Katwijk aan Rijn lies near the mouth of the Rhine. Two kilometres to the northeast, on the shores of the North Sea, lies Katwijk aan Zee, a fishing village and resort area.

13 Letter to his sister, Catherine Jackson, 28 July 1909.

14 One of the three oil sketches of the Katwijk seashore is illustrated in Dennis Reid's catalogue, Group of Seven (Ottawa: National Gallery of Canada, 1970) p, 25, ill, no.6, Two other paintings, both in private collections, with titles inscribed by the artist, are: Katwijk an Rhyn and A Dutch Garden, Katwijk.

15 Karl Baedeker, Belgium and Holland: Handbook for Travellers (Leipzig: 1910), p. 298.

16 Letter to his mother, op. cit.

17 Letter to his mother, 1 September 1909, Episy.

18 Dutch Windmill at Night (private collection); Veere, Rolland (Art Gallery of Ontario)

19 Letter to his mother, op. cit.

20 Ibid.

21 Letter to Dr Naomi Jackson Groves, 1966.

22 Both the painting and the two drawings were preceded by another oil sketch, Bridge over the Canal du Loing, Episy (private collection), which shows the bridge and canal from the opposite side of the bridge.

23 NJG notes.

24 Dennis Reid, op. cit, p. 34.

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