Henri Leopold Masson

Henri Leopold Masson (OSA, CGP, GSPWC) was born in Namur, Belgium in 1907. He came to Canada with his family in 1921 when he settled in Ottawa working as a silver engraver for several years. Henri would discover the work of the Group of Seven while visiting the National Gallery in 1932. Inspired by their style and use of colour he was moved to try painting himself. Masson studied for a time at the Ottawa Art Association, but was largely self taught which allowed him to develop a style unique to himself. Two years later, in 1934, he was already emerging as a painter of importance. By 1945 he was successful enough that he could devote most of his time to painting and he exhibited extensively with good success. “His themes reflect his belief in the unity of nature and art. Cityscapes and landscapes reveal a sense of place and time. Still-life’s and paintings of monks and choirboys, musicians, children and a great variety of commonplace activities deal with subjects that he considered to convey the essence of life. Masson used a loose, vigorous brush style in many media. His best works are full of detail and movement, with a broad range of color, and convey a sense of immediacy to the viewer”, recalls Kathleen Laverty. Henri Leopold Masson passed away in 1996. Today a significant collection of his work is housed in the National Gallery of Canada.

Available artwork: 
Choir Boys by Henri Leopold Masson
Choir Boys
Watercolour, 14 x 18
Loch Gallery, Toronto
Artist origin: 
Artist type: 
Historical works of significance


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