Cottingham School with Yellow Flag, 1970-1971
German, Canadian, 1936 - 1972
oil on canvas
152.3 x 127 cm
National Gallery of Canada (no. 41078)
Painting from the rear window of her home studio on Birch Avenue in Toronto, Christiane Pflug focused on the landscapes visible from this limiting vantage point. Painted just five years after the adoption of our current Canadian flag (February 1965), the yellow flag in this work was inspired by the colour in the Christian liturgical calendar that represents the happiness of the season of feasts and festivals. Also of note is that the flag's reflection in the water in the painting's foreground depicts it blowing to the right while the flag is actually flying in the opposite direction. Contrasting with the lush foliage in the middle ground, the precision in Pflug's treatment of the buildings and hydro lines shows her consciousness of a growing and overwhelming city.