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5.3 Clarence Alphonse Gagnon, Wayside Cross, Winter , 1916. Oil on canvas,
70.8 x 91.7 cm. ART GALLERY OF ONTARIO. Art Gallery of Ontario, The
Thompson Collection © 2010 Art Gallery of Ontario / La croix de chemin en
hiver , 1916. Huile sur toile, 70,8 x 91,7 cm. Galerie d'art de l'Ontario, Collection
Thompson © Art Gallery of Ontario.
and  the play of light in favour of painting in a smoother and two-
dimensional way.) In short, for Gagnon, as for Suzor-Coté, Cullen,
and Morrice, Impressionism, however powerful a tool, proves to be
more a means than an end: that end being nationalism, through the
specificity of the French-Canadian landscape. And that specificity is
constituted precisely by the combination of nature and culture that
forms the focus of this topic, as Sicotte concludes of Gagnon's paint-
ings: 'Sa quête de beauté épouse son idéal d'un rapport harmonique
entre la nature sauvage et un certain état de culture.' (116; His quest
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