Cullen, Maurice Galbraith
Spring Break-up at Beaupré
In 1888, Maurice Cullen travelled to Paris to study at the École des Beaux-Arts. He remained in Paris for several years, becoming thoroughly acquainted with the art of the Impressionists, particularly Monet. Upon his return to Canada in 1895, Cullen became one of the first Canadian artists to apply Impressionist theories of light and colour to the Canadian landscape. One of his main artistic concerns was the effect of light on snow. Cullen had become aware of the qualities of snow as a reflective surface, picking up the various colours of the sky at different times of day. Although critics of the day often situated the Group of Seven as working against the tradition of earlier artists, Group members, such as A.Y. Jackson acknowledged the influence of Maurice Cullen on their approach to the Canadian landscape.