CPR Posters


Although not included in this exhibition, Leighton's CPR posters are among his few works from the '20s which can be dated with any certainty. A typical poster features an emerging locomotive drawn in perspective against towering mountains. Both perspective and mountain steepness have been exaggerated to create an impression of speed as well as dizzying height. As Leighton was known to hate speed and noise, the impression of locomotive power is certainly done for its advertising effect. while the exaggerated steepness of the mountains contributes in its own way to this effect too, it seems more characteristic of Leighton's sensibility. 'Towering' was an adjective frequently used by the press in descriptions of Leighton's paintings. Leighton loved towers. He found them in depictions of English windmills, castles, and church steeples, and in Canadian grain elevators; he designed and built several houses during his lifetime and at least three of these, including the present Leighton Foundation house, featured a central tower room. The Canadian Rockies provided natural towers. Leighton sought them in rock walls, ramparts, and peaks.


On to Reputation