The Jack Pine, 1916-1917
oil on canvas
127.9 x 139.8 cm
National Gallery of Canada (no. 1519)
Inspired by the landscape around Little Cauchon Lake in eastern Algonquin Park, this picture of a solitary jack pine, its drooping boughs silhouetted in the light of a northern Ontario sunset, assumes special emotional and symbolic significance through the artist's formal treatment. The stylization and decorative patterning of natural forms, along with the strong colour and light contrasts, transform this image of a northern tree dominating its rocky landscape into an icon embodying the spirit of the land and the Canadian experience of nature.