Peleg Franklin Brownell
Canadian (born in U.S.A.), 1857–1946
The Home Lesson, c. 1895
oil on canvas
46 x 31 cm
Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery; Gift of The Winnipeg Foundation
Born in Massachusetts, Franklin Brownell received academic art training in Boston and Paris. In France he met a fellow expatriate, the Canadian painter William Brymner. There is some speculation that Brymner may have recommended Brownell to the Ottawa School of Art, where the former had worked upon his return from Europe. In 1886 Brownell was hired as the School’s Principal. Much of the work he completed during his first decade in Canada, such as The Home Lesson, is domestically themed and displays the artist’s interest in the effect and play of cast light. However, his interest would shift to landscape in the early twentieth century. Through connections he had with Ottawa lumber families, Brownell became one of the first artists in Canada to paint in Algonquin Park. Many of his canvases from this period anticipate the later work of Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven.