Isle of Spruce painter dies in Toronto

On today’s date in 1969, Group of Seven artist Arthur Lismer died in Toronto at age 84.

In 1970, Canada Post featured Lismer’s Isle of Spruce painting on a 6-cent multi-coloured stamp (Scott 518). The stamp, printed by Ashton-Potter Ltd., marked the 50th anniversary of the founding of Canada’s Group of Seven artists with a five-colour lithography of Lismer’s painting. The stamp measures 36 mm x 30 mm and has 11 perforations.


The official first-day cover, issued Sept. 18, 1970.

The official first-day cover describes the Canadian artist group as having “defied the painting style of the time, the opinions of the critics, and the comforts of civilization to go out into the wilderness and paint the country ‘as it is’ … big, raw and sometimes stark, but majestically beautiful.”

Lismer was one of the founders of the Group of Seven and had a significant impact on arts in Canada. Throughout more than 50 years of painting, he developed a powerful expressionist style characterized by simplicity in raw colours, heavy impasto, coarse brushwork and compressed forms.

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