Greenland Mountains by Lawren Stewart Harris on 1967 Canadian Stamp

Sunday, July 1, 2012

in Landscape

One of the great things about the Sunday Stamps meme over at Viridian’s Postcard Blog is that when I occasionally drop by it always inspires me to browse through my unsorted thematic stamps and find just the right stamp to fit the weekly theme. This Sunday the topic is “Scenic Natural Areas” and right away one starkly iconic stamp stood out as being the perfect choice – a monochrome engraved view of Greenland Mountains by Canadian painter Lawren Stewart Harris (1885-1970).

Bylot Island 1967

Greenland Mountains by Lawren Stewart Harris

Greenland Mountains by Lawren Stewart Harris

The original 1930 painting was mistakenly identified by the National Gallery of Canada, which purchased the work in 1936, as depicting Bylot Island in Nunavut Territory, Canada, within the Sirmilik National Park. This error went unchecked right up until the 1990s, and as a result this 15 cent Canadian Stamp, which was issued on 8 February 1967 as part of the Centennial Series celebrating 100 years of Canadian postage (1867-1967), was always known as the “Bylot Island” stamp.

Harris was the first of several Toronto painters in the early decades of the last century who would travel to northern Ontario and the Arctic to create landscape paintings. In 1920 these artists began to call themselves the Group of Seven – and a new Canadian art movement was born.

Incidentally, in 2010, a painting of Bylot Island entitled Bylot Island I by Lawren Harris, was sold at auction for a staggering 2.8 million Canadian dollars, a record-breaking amount for an artwork by a Canadian artist.

Happy Canada Day!

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

dakotaboo July 1, 2012 at 5:24 pm

This stamp looks familiar – think I have it in my collection somewhere.

VioletSky July 1, 2012 at 6:15 pm

Good choice! I also think I may have this one, somewhere, but had completely forgotten about it. Harris is my favourite of the Group of Seven.

viridian July 1, 2012 at 6:28 pm

So it’s not Bylot Island?? Where are the Greenland mountains I wonder? I will have to check the google machine. Glad to see you today and thank you for joining in.

Debs July 1, 2012 at 6:36 pm

The mountains are in Nerke, Greenland…

Joy July 2, 2012 at 1:03 pm

It makes a great stamp but then his paintings of ice, land and water were a wonder. Happily Canada Post keep treating us to Group of Seven stamps.

Sheila @ A Postcard a Day July 2, 2012 at 4:03 pm

It still looks great even if they did get the name wrong. “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet” 🙂

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