Pegi Nicol MacLeod
Self-Portrait with Jane, c. 1939
oil on canvas
84.8 x 69.5 cm
Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery
Pegi Nicol MacLeod studied in Ottawa under Franklin Brownell before moving to Montreal, where she became part of a close-knit circle of artists and intellectuals including Goodridge Roberts and Marian Scott. After experimenting in the landscape tradition of the Group of Seven, MacLeod shifted to a more expressionistic style in the mid-1930s, characterized by an exuberant colour sense and ebullient linear stylization. Around this time she moved to Toronto and then to New York City. Self-Portrait with Jane concludes her exploration of the nude, a study she had begun earlier in the decade, and one that was rarely featured in Canadian art at the time. This major work by the artist shows MacLeod’s daughter as a young child, a symbol of hope at the outset of World War II.