James Wilson Morrice

Canadian artist, RCA , Canadian Art Club , Art Association of Montreal

James Wilson Morrice

The canadian painter, James Wilson Morrice, born in Montreal (Canada) on August 10, 1865 and died in Tunis (Tunisia) on January 23, 1924, is a Canadian painter. Most of his career abroad, especially in Paris, was considered by some to be "the first Canadian painter to relate to a living tradition" in painting in Canada. Indeed, his travels will put him in touch with painters such as James Abbott McNeill Whistler and Henri Matisse, leader of Fauvism, who will influence his work. Having brought the influence of modern European painting to Canada, his work will have an impact on that of younger artists like Clarence Gagnon and John Lyman.

James Wilson Morrice completed his studies at the Faculties of Arts at the University of Toronto, followed by studies in law. He participated in the exhibition of the Royal Academy of Canada in 1888 and at the Salon du Printemps of the Montreal Art Association. His talent is noticed by the businessman and collector William Van Horne who allows him to go to study in Paris. Beginning his training at the Academy Julian, he decides however to continue at the school of Barbizon

One of these most significant trips is that of the winter of 1912-1913 in Tangier accompanied by Henri Matisse. Throughout his life, Morrice is in perpetual movement, having a studio in Paris, he works mostly outside where he performs pochades that he then transposes into a workshop. The pochade is important for the artist he even devotes an exhibition at the Salon d'automne in Paris in 1905.

He obtained recognition in 1904 by the French government which made him purchase the work Quai des Grands-Augustins for the collection of foreign modern art presented at the National Gallery of Jeu de Paume. Several works by Morrice are acquired by acquaintance with the Pennsylvania Museum, the city of Lyon or the Tate Gallery in London.

He is a member of the Royal Academy of Canada and the Canadian Art Club.

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