The Canadian Rockies

The reproduction here of the watercolour Lake McArthur is an example of the result of [the artist's] mountain wanderings. This lake is above timberline, rising, treeless, in the pure air, and Phillips is inclined to think, after all his eyes have seen in the Rocky Mountains, that is is the most beautiful of all the lakes in that region whcih holds so much that is lovely in its iron grasp. [...] It was painted from a sketch made in 1936 and was purchased by the Art Association of Montreal in 1940.  

    Lake McArthur, c. 1937
watercolour on paper
14 ½" x 21 ½"
Collection: Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

The painting is reproduced before page 1 in the small monograph on the artist, W.J. Phillips, published by the Ryerson press in 1947, of Toronto, and written by Duncan Campbell Scott, whose description of the work appears above.
    In 1936, Phillips was invited to illustrate a book entitled Colour in the Canadian Rockies by Frederick Niven. Phillips travelled to Banff with his wife, all expenses paid, and proceeded to visit the most famous sites in Banff, Yoho and Kootenay National Parks. The result was a series of 32 watercolours which were reproduced in the book when it was published the following year. In addition, Phillips made a number of pen and ink drawings for the book. These drawings are in the collection of the Glenbow Museum.

The titles of the watercolours as given in the book are as follows:

  1. Moraine Lake
  2. Mount Rundle
  3. Bow Falls
  4. Sulphur Mountain
  5. Lake Louise
  6. In the Valley of the Ten Peaks
  7. Mount Victoria
  8. Seven Sisters Falls, Lake O'Hara
  9. Mount Yukness and Lake O'Hara
  10. Kicking Horse River
  11. Mount Stephen: Fireweed
  12. Yoho Valley Trail
  13. Falls in Yoho Valley
  14. Mount Burgess and Emerald Lake
  15. Below Lake Oesa
  16. Windermere
  17. Sinclair Canyon
  18. The Sawback
  19. Mount Biddle
  20. Cathedral Mountain from Lake O'Hara
  21. Moonrise on Mount Victoria (from Wapta)
  22. Wenkchemna Meadows
  23. Mistaya Valley with Lake Peyto
  24. Mount Fay
  25. Hamilton Falls
  26. Bow Glacier
  27. Mount Field
  28. Lake Louise: Dawn
  29. Lake in the Clouds
  30. Mount Bident and Consolation Lake
  31. Mount Lefroy
  32. Lake O'Hara from Mount Odaray