Monday, April 7, 2014

Monday Inspiration: William Brymner

William Brymner, In the Orchard- Spring, 1892 (source)
William Brymner, The Picture Book, 1898, (source)
William Brymner, The Vaughan Sisters, 1910, (source)

William Brymner, Lady with a Parasol, 1918, (source)

William Brymner (1855-1925), came to Canada in 1857, he studied in Paris, and then came back to Montreal, where he mentored and taught other Artists. He taught several of the members of the Beaver Hall Group. There was a wealth of info about him online- perhaps that speaks to a difference between Male and Female Artists (I've been sort off scraping up whatever images I can find for most of the females I've been writing about). They are wonderful paintings, detailed but still loose, and the later works are much more painterly in style.

It's interesting to see the style change in Lady with a Parasol and The Vaughan Sisters- two things likely make these two images so different in style- Parasol was painted 8 years later, but also The Vaughan Sisters was a portrait, and likely commissioned- which just goes to show that some artists (most even?) can change their style to suit the situation. Often when I'm teaching art to kids the subject of Picasso comes up- and they are mostly shocked to see his earlier works-in particular how realist they are- apparently they think that Picasso painted cubist works because that was as close as he could get to 'realism'???? Odd. But I digress...I really love the way you can see his style shift subtly between paintings, the beginnings of soft impressionist brushwork in the early works, and the bold brushwork of the later images.

Monday Inspiration 2014 is all about Canadian artists. Each Monday I'll pick a new one to profile- If you can think of any that you think I ought to look up- please let me know in the comments- I'd love to hear from you. You can find a list of the artists I've done so far here. 


  1. I really liked the texture in the painting done in 1898 - the stockings and hair of the 2 girls. As a suggestion for other artists - what about Pauline Boutal?

  2. I very much like the intimacy between the two walkers in the first painting that he captures so well.
    Of portraits, an artist friend once said he hates to accept commissions for portraits of children because
    their parents usually want you to capture an exact likeness, while also making their child look beautiful...
    which may not be possible!
    He recommended painting horses. Their owners will love your work and will spend ridiculous amounts of money on their horse.