CANADIAN PRAIRIE WATERCOLOUR LANDSCAPES

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SASKATCHEWAN

AUGUSTUS KENDERDINE. Waskesiu, 1935. Glenbow museum.

AUGUSTUS FREDERICK LAFOSSE KENDERDINE, b. England, 1870, d. Saskatoon, 1947. In the late 1880's and early '90s Kenderdine studied art in Manchester, Blackpool, and Paris. He came to Canada in 1908, homesteading and ranching near Lashburn (west of the Battlefords). After 1921 he was involved with establishing art programs at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, among them the aforementioned summer art school at Emma Lake. Kenderdine seldom painted in watercolour, although he did several landscape studies in charcoal and wash, reminiscent of Gainsborough. A romantic strain in Kenderdine's nature led him to paint Arcadian woodland scenes. I suspect that a documentary strain was an important element in prairie landscape painters -- something to offset conventional notions of what landscape consisted. Kenderdine lacked that, but his feeling for the breadth and sweep of the landscape affected later artists like Dorothy Knowles.


TERRY FENTON