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Franklin Carmichael
(1890-1945)

Back to Realism / Naturalism

Introduction
Carmichael Harris Jackson Johnston Lismer
MacDonald Varley Casson FitzGerald Holgate
Tom Thomson
Canada 1995. Group of Seven. Realism/Naturalism. Franklin Carmichael. October Gold.

Franklin Carmichael was best known for his landscapes of semi-rural and wilderness subjects of northern Ontario.  He was born in Orillia, Ontario. He studied at the Ontario College of Art in Toronto in the 1911-1912 academic year while apprenticing as a commercial artist. He attended the Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts (Royal Academy of Fine Arts) in Antwerp, Belgium, in the 1913-1914 academic year. He then returned to Toronto and resumed working as a commercial artist. 

In 1920 Carmichael banded together with other Toronto landscape painters to form the Group of Seven. 

He worked largely around Toronto until 1925, when he first painted on the north shore of Lake Superior with other members of the group, Lawren Harris and A. Y. Jackson. 

  • Canada 1995.  October Gold. Painted 1922.  McMichael Collection of Canadian Art, Kleinburg (ON)  Scott # 1559a.

After 1924 Carmichael’s favorite painting site was the rocky La Cloche Hills, south of the mining town of Sudbury, Ontario. The rounded contours of the region are seen in "A Northern Silver Mine". 

 Group of Seven. Franklin Carmichael. Northern Silver Mine.

Carmichael’s work is characterized by delicate design and subtle color effects. His early paintings featured decorative arrangements of the landscape, showing the influence of Tom Thomson.  Before his death in 1917, Thomson worked with and inspired the artists who formed the Group of Seven. In 1924 Carmichael took up watercolors. By 1926 he had begun to simplify form and to give his luminous landscapes a rhythmic quality. The wood engravings and linocuts he produced in the 1930s and 1940s share the precision and craftsmanship of his watercolors. Carmichael was a founding member of the Canadian Society of Painters in Water Colour in 1925. He became head of the Graphic and Commercial Art Department at the Ontario College of Art in 1932.

 
Introduction
Carmichael Harris Jackson Johnston Lismer
MacDonald Varley Casson FitzGerald Holgate
Tom Thomson

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