Collection Focus: Art Gallery of Ontario

Browse hundreds of new images from the world’s largest collection of Canadian art for licensing.

Lake, Algonquin Park (detail), Lawren Stewart Harris (1885-1970) / Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Canada

 

We’re excited to represent hundreds of new images from the Art Gallery of Ontario for licensing and reproduction. Located in the heart of Toronto, the AGO comprises more than 25,000 works of art spanning over 1,000 years, and houses the world’s largest collection of Canadian art.

Founded in 1900, the Gallery also boasts many European, American, Oceanic and African masterpieces, prints and an extensive photography collection; but the stars of the show are the local works, with a focus on Toronto and Ontario, including First Nation and Inuit artists. Here are some highlights, all available for licensing from our website.

 

Madura. The Great Pagoda, Mootoo Alaghur and East Gopurum from Tank, 1858, Linnaeus Tripe (1822-1902) / Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Canada
Madura. The Great Pagoda, Mootoo Alaghur and East Gopurum from Tank, 1858, Linnaeus Tripe (1822-1902) / Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Canada

 

 

 

Rare photography

The photography collection includes rare prints by Linnaeus Tripe, who travelled to Myanmar and British India in the 1850s and took some very atmospheric shots of temples.

There is also a spectacular sunlight-on-water scene by Gustave Le Gray from the same period, which looks like Turner copied.

 

 

Masterpieces on paper

Beautiful prints and works on paper include: a virtuosic Piranesi carcere, a mezzotint after Wright of Derby that is gorgeous in its own right, a Rembrandt Temptation with strikingly naturalistic Adam and Eve, and an unsteadying colour aquatint by Canadian printmaker David Blackwood (left), of a burning ship floating desolately above a fearsome whale. This unnerving sense of feeble human scale is something that appears often in the AGO’s Canadian collection.

 

Fire Down on the Labrador (detail), 1980, David Blackwood (b.1941) / Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Canada
Fire Down on the Labrador (detail), 1980, David Blackwood (b.1941) / Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Canada

 

 

"Gunstock" Club, early 19th century, Canadian School, (19th century) / Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Canada

 

Vernacular Canadian art

The Canadian collection (the largest in the world) is formidable and definitive. This awesome ‘gunstock’ club, carved by an Anishinaabe artist in the early 19th century, was the AGO’s first major acquisition of Ontario’s First Nations heritage. Far more than a blunt instrument, delightful birds and arrows carved into it make it an object of both creation and destruction. Its acquisition signifies the AGO’s ongoing commitment to represent Canada’s social diversity.

 

Autumn Hillside, 1920 (oil on canvas), Franklin Carmichael (1890-1945) / Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Canada
Autumn Hillside, 1920 (oil on canvas), Franklin Carmichael (1890-1945) / Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Canada

 

Most well-known works are the sublime landscapes of the Group of Seven, artistic pioneers of the Canadian wilderness, who proved it worth immortalising, and pictured a modern national identity for Canadian art. Their works are elemental, full of romance, great distances, sunlight, and industry resources, and would look fantastic on your wall. The AGO (then called the Art Gallery of Toronto) was in fact the site of the Group’s first exhibition, in 1920.

 

Study for 'Northern River', 1914-15, Thomas John Thomson (1877-1917) / Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Canada
Study for 'Northern River', 1914-15, Thomas John Thomson (1877-1917) / Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Canada

 

 

The woodlands of Tom Thomson (left), closely associated with the Group (though he died before its official formation) are ravishing. We’re also big fans of Franklin Carmichael’s remote peaks and open skies, and this surreal, desolate yet peaceful sketch of Lake Superior by Lawren Stewart Harris.

Looking through them all is like flying through mountains, forests and lakes in a rickety biplane.

See all Art Gallery of Ontario images for licensing

 

Find out more

Contact our sales team with enquiries regarding research, licensing images and accessing more images in our extensive offline archive.


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