Clearing a Field, c. 1910
oil on canvas
29.2 x 38.7 cm
On long-term loan from The Winnipeg Foundation; Bequest of Kathleen Burrows Lightcap
Despite a lack of formal training, Horatio Walker was one of the most popular Canadian artists of his day, celebrated for his farm scenes inspired by his summers spent on Ile d’Orléans, east of Quebec City. Walker’s paintings sold in New York City and Canada to collectors who enjoyed the dark tonalities and rural scenery of his larger finished paintings, reminiscent of the work of Jean-François Millet and his French contemporaries. However, in rare en plein air studies such as Clearing a Field, Walker’s approach is more painterly, with brighter tonalities that acknowledge the more radical painting style of the Impressionists.