George Agnew Reid
The Story, 1890
oil on canvas
123 x 164.3 cm
Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery; Gift from the Hugh F. Osler Estate
George Reid painted The Story after returning to Toronto from his studies in France, and the work’s theatrical naturalism and technical finish reflect Reid’s solid academic training. The painting was displayed at the French Salon in Paris in the spring of 1890, but not before it was purchased by the wealthy financier, politician, and public art gallery advocate, Sir Edmund Boyd Osler. Osler’s son, Hugh, later brought the painting to Winnipeg, where he relocated his family in 1903. Reid actually constructed the hayloft depicted in this work in his Toronto studio, and local boys were his models. The cascading light creates a dramatic mood, heightens the group members’ interactive expressions, and illuminates an access point for the viewer, to the right of the ladder.