CANADIAN PRAIRIE WATERCOLOUR LANDSCAPES

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ALBERTA

A. C. LEIGHTON. View of Edmonton, 1930. Glenbow Museum.

ALFRED CROCKER LEIGHTON, b. Hastings, England, 1901, d. Millarville, Alberta, 1965. Leighton was an enormously accomplished draughtsman and an outstanding painter of watercolours in the English tradition. Virtually untouched by modernism in his early years, he painted from nature in a classic English manner, producing detailed drawings in pencil heightened by warm and cool washes, mostly raw umber and prussian blue. Colour in Leighton was subdued and generally distrusted -- so different from the practice of Phillips -- but at his best was more than compensated for by precise and delicate drawing that suggests the 19th century art of William Callow, Thomas Girtin, and Richard Parkes Bonington. As the View of Edmonton suggests, Leighton was a masterful architectural draughtsman. The reproduction of Cathedral Mountain in the introduction to the Alberta section of this site demonstrates how he, and seemingly he alone, could translate that mastery into the depiction of mountains. Leighton was the second director of the Alberta College of Art and one of the founding forces behind the Banff School of Fine Arts. After 1935 he retired from the ACA for health reasons and departed from Alberta, returning in 1950. By that time he'd become reclusive and his influence waned.

Leighton web site


TERRY FENTON