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does not use the diversified strokes and colours of Suzor-Coté, he does
display the same use of heavily textured paint, as his stepson Robert
Pilot, himself a landscape painter of considerable note, explains:
'Though he did not follow the divisionist technique of the impression-
ists, he strove while mixing a tone on the palette to keep the colours as
separate as possible, so that liveliness and vibrancy would be achieved.
Moreover, he regarded quality in oil painting as something involving
solidity, and thus he built up his canvasses with impasto. He remarked
that the surface of a picture should be a unity, throughout handled
thickly, or the reverse' ('Maurice Cullen,' 13). 11
Robert Bernier sees such technical distinctions precisely as a matter of
Cullen's commitment to representing the specificity of French Canada:
'La grande force de Cullen est d'avoir su adapter l'impressionnisme à la
réalité d'ici. Il ajoute une dimension personnelle au traitement du pay-
sage canadien … La touche, l'atmosphère et le rythme de sa peinture
font de lui l'un des premiers peintres à créer un art représentatif de notre
identité.' ( Un siècle , 30-1; The great strength of Cullen is to have known
how to adapt Impressionism to reality here. He adds a personal dimen-
sion to the treatment of the Canadian landscape … The brushwork, at-
mosphere, and rhythm of his painting make him one of the first painters
to create an art representative of our identity.)
Similarly, the style of James Wilson Maurice, although he studied and
for the most part resided in France, must, according to Lucie Dorais, be
distinguished from that of the Impressionists: 'On ne peut cependant
qualifier de véritablement impressionnistes ces toiles inondées de lu-
mière, puisque ni Cullen ni Morrice n'ont recours à la touche divisée.'
(253-4; One can't nonetheless define as truly Impressionist these light-
filled canvases, since neither Cullen nor Morrice depended on divided
brushwork.) Although Morrice is to some degree an expatriate, his later
work is at once so typical of the territory yet so unique in its rendering
as to be included here, in the form of his Maison de ferme québécoise , circa
1921 (figure 5.2).
The vertical orientation of the canvas compresses space at the same
time that the elevated viewpoint flattens it and the massive wall of the
farmhouse in the foreground emphasizes it; all three factors cause the
spectator to focus on the frontal plane of the painting, as does the wall
of bold blue with visible vertical brushwork that constitutes the sky at
the top of the canvas. The surprising composition is typical of Morrice's
work, which always displays a sense of architectural solidity and sim-
plicity, as noted by Nicole Cloutier: 'Autre composante importante des
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