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Item Name: Painting
Title: Mackie Hill
Maker: James Henderson
Year: 1949
Country: Canadian
Materials: oil on canvas
Measurements: overall: 46.6 cm x 60.2 cm
ID Number: PC83.1.18
Legal Status: PERMANENT COLLECTION


Extended Label Info: This wintery scene shows a view of the Qu’Appelle Valley that deeply inspired the artist, James Henderson. Often working “en plein air” Henderson spent many hours in the valley, sketching compositions and painting colour harmonies as he saw them. By painting outdoors, he was able to observe the contours of the landscape and precisely record the sometimes surprising colours of the prairies. The purple shadows in this scene are very evocative Saskatchewan in winter. Henderson, like many Impressionist painters, would then use his sketches to help him keep a light brushstroke and fresh sense of colour while working on his larger and more time-consuming studio paintings. Unlike European Impressionists, Henderson does not often include figures or animals in his compositions, preferring to focus on the landscape as his central subject matter. James Henderson (1871 - 1951) was part of the first generation of professionally trained artists who came to live in Saskatchewan. He was born in Glasgow, Scotland, and enjoyed drawing and sketching as a child. Apprenticed in lithography, Henderson also took evening classes at the Glasgow School of Art, and learned painting from several of the Scottish Impressionists. After working in London as an engraver and lithographer, he immigrated to Western Canada in 1910 as a commercial artist. Once in Regina, Henderson found he was deeply inspired by landscape in the Qu’ Appelle Valley region, and in 1916 settled in Fort Qu’Appelle. Henderson’s work was recognized as an important record of plains history in a retrospective exhibition organized by the Mendel Art Gallery (2009). His work is held nationally in public and private collections.