| Johnston, Francis H. Biography
Canadian landscape and genre painter, best known for his paintings of Algoma in northern Ontario. Johnston was an original member of the Group of Seven, a group of artists who set out to create a distinctly Canadian art.
Born in Toronto, Ontario,Francis H. Johnston studied art and worked as a commercial artist there before studying at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia in 1912. He then worked as a designer and illustrator in Toronto, Philadelphia, and New York City.
In 1915 Johnston returned to Toronto. Johnston accompanied Toronto painters J. E. H. MacDonald, Lawren Harris, and A. Y. Jackson on sketching trips to Algoma in 1918 and 1919. A year later he joined with them and three other Canadian painters to form the Group of Seven. Johnston exhibited with the Group of Seven in 1920 only, ending his formal association with them when he moved to Winnipeg, Manitoba, as principal of the Winnipeg School of Art in 1921. He returned to Toronto in 1924, and later painted in northern Ontario, Qu?bec, and the Arctic.
By the mid-1920s Johnston (known as Franz Johnston after 1926) publicly opposed modern art. His winter scenes, landscapes and genre scenes of everyday life in the Northwest Territories or rural Quebec, became more intensely realist, with harsh coloring and theatrical lighting.
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