Lawren S. Harris (1885-1970) was born into one of Canada’s wealthiest families and was destined for a life in aristocratic circles, yet he always felt more at home in the solitude of the great outdoors.
He gathered a group of like-minded painters around him, and together they regularly ventured deep into the wilderness of northern Ontario. This artistic adventure club became known as The Group of Seven, whose rugged landscapes changed Canadian identity.
In tune with his inward-looking character, he felt a strong affinity for spiritual teachings and became a fervent devotee of the Theosophical Society. He loved theosophy’s epic sweep and great sense of possibility. He saw the artist as being attuned to a higher reality, he could communicate to the rest of the world. But contrary to these high ambitions, he also said that his only aim was to “depict the clear, hard sunlight of a Canadian noon in winter.”