James Wilson Morrice
|James Wilson Morrice|
|Born||August 10th, 1865
|Died||January 23rd, 1924
|Notable work||Prow of a Gondola, Venice|
James Wilson Morrice (August 10, 1865 – January 23, 1924) was a significant Canadian landscape painter. He studied at the Académie Julian in Paris, France, where he lived for most of his career. James Morrice Street in New Bordeaux, Ahuntsic-Cartierville, Montreal is named in his memory.
Morrice was born in Montreal, the son of a wealthy merchant, and studied law in Toronto from 1882 to 1889. In 1890 he left to study painting in England. The next year he arrived in Paris, where he studied at the Académie Julian from 1892-7. At Julians he befriended Charles Conder and Maurice Prendergast, and also met Robert Henri.
Morrice continued to live in Paris until the First World War, although he spent most of his winters in Canada. He made many connections in the intellectual circles of Paris, while also remaining in touch with the Canadian art world:
During this period he was also regularly in contact with English expatriate intellectuals living in Paris, such as W. Somerset Maugham, Arnold Bennett, and Clive Bell. In the winter of 1911-12 he shared a studio with Matisse in Tangiers.
With the advent of World War I, Morrice fled to Montreal, and then to Cuba. There he began to succumb to alcoholism. The output of his last period is uneven and infrequent. In the summer of 1922 he travelled to Algiers, where he painted with Albert Marquet. This would be the last time that he painted, as his health began to rapidly deteriorate. He died, aged 58, in Tunis.
Morrice's paintings before the turn of the century are thinly painted and inspired by Whistler, both in sentiment and in treatment of colour. Just prior to World War I he began to paint, in a thicker style, winter Canadian scenes influenced by the Impressionists. Some of his works during his Caribbean period are considered his best and are painted in a loose style influenced by Van Gogh.
- Prow of a Gondola, Venice, 1897 National Gallery of Canada
- Return from School, 1901
- Quai des Grands-Augustins, 1903. The National Gallery of Canada
- The Ferry, Quebec, 1906. NGC
- Blanche Baume, 1912. NGC
- House in Santiago, 1915 Tate Gallery
- Village Street, West Indies, 1919. Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
Paris Canal 1900 Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal
Street Scene Pink Sky Paris c. 1908 Art Gallery of Ontario
Old Holton House, Montreal, 1908-09 Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal
- Web site by Morrice specialist Lucie Dorais
- Biography at the Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online
- A large gallery of paintings by Morrice on the National Gallery of Canada's website.