Canadian painting has long been a hidden gem. Although international observers are certainly aware of Native Canadian art and the important Group of Seven, the vast majority of Canadian artists have escaped wider notice and recognition. Part of the problem stems from the fact that noteworthy book collections of Canadian paintings have been scarce.

J. Russell Harper’s seminal work, Painting in Canada: A History (1966), started the long-awaited journey of introducing Canadian art to the world. Dennis Reid, a fellow art historian who worked at Toronto’s Art Gallery of Ontario and Ottawa’s National Gallery of Canada, soon followed with A Concise History of Canadian Painting (1973). Reid’s book was the first in-depth examination of the art of the great white north. It brought Canadian painting to life in a way no other author—not even Harper—had previously been able to...


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