From 1885 when the last spike was driven into the Canadian Pacific Railway, artists have been drawn to the inspiring peaks of the Canadian Rockies. With an aim to promote tourism and settlement in the west, the CPR’s general manager, William Cornelius van Horne, hired artists to capture the beauty of the mountain landscapes, an advertising tradition that would last well into the 1960s.
In the 1880s, F. M. Bell-Smith was amongst the first artists hired by the CPR to paint in the Rockies. Today, contemporary artists, like Ron Bolt and Philip Craig, continue to flock to the mountains, each interpreting the beauty and scale in their own way.
Now and Then: Painters in the Canadian Rockies features a selection of contemporary and historical artists from F.M. Bell-Smith to Leo Mol and Ron Bolt, who have all been compelled to capture the grandeur of our mountain landscapes.
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