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The Mouth Organ PlayerEnlarge image

The Mouth Organ Player, 1924

Adrien Hébert
Canadian, 1890 - 1967
oil on canvas
109.7 x 68 cm
Purchased 1994
National Gallery of Canada (no. 37594)

Against a background of a log cabin, rolling hills and cloud-filled sky, an unidentified musician stands on a platform or deck. The music of his harmonica is linked to nature and to the rural life of farmers and loggers rather than to the city. In the 1920s Hébert's friend the musician Léo-Pol Morin and others promoted the growth of an indigenous Canadian music derived from popular or folk traditions, an ideal evoked in this superb full-length portrait.

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