Tom Thomson, 1877 – 1917
Canadian artist Tom Thomson was born near Claremont, Ontario and grew up in Leith, near Owen Sound. After moving to Toronto, his early career was spent as a commercial artist at Grip Limited, the commercial design firm where he first met J.E.H. MacDonald, Lawren Harris, A.Y. Jackson, Arthur Lismer and others.
‘Northern Lights’ was hand selected by A.J. Casson for reproduction into silkscreen, quite possibly for its subtle reminder of the magic of the great wilderness at night. It was one of only a few night scene paintings ever completed by Thomson, and the original is in the collection of the National Gallery of Canada. Its electricity seems to be a precursor of the abstract nature of Thomson’s short life.