Lalemant, Gabriel (French, 1610–1649)
A Jesuit who, in taking his religious vows, requested to add a fourth vow to the usual three: to devote himself to foreign missions. He arrived in Quebec to do missionary work fourteen years later, in 1646. He was captured and killed by Iroquois at the Saint-Louis mission, near Georgian Bay, and was canonized in 1930.
Laliberté, Alfred (Canadian, 1878–1953)
A sculptor best known for his monumental works and his statuettes and portrait busts depicting traditional Quebec culture. A lauded artist during his life, Laliberté was a member of both the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts and France’s prestigious Académie des beaux-arts. He taught at the École des beaux-arts de Montréal for thirty years.
Lamanna, Carmen (Italian, 1927–1991)
Gallerist in Toronto who opened the pivotal Carmen Lamanna Gallery in 1966. An Italian émigré, Lamanna was a central fixture in the Canadian art scene and represented key artists including General Idea, Ron Martin, Ian Carr-Harris, Paterson Ewen, and Joanne Tod.
Lambert, Beverley (a.k.a. Bev Kelly) (Canadian, b. 1943)
The only woman included in the National Gallery of Canada’s 1968 Heart of London exhibition. Originally from Saskatchewan, she moved to London, Ontario, while her husband at the time, Alex Kelly, pursued his doctorate at Western University. She exhibited with the London Regionalists until her return to Regina, where she continued to create and show her art. More recently she has worked as a conservator in Newfoundland.
Lambeth, Michel (Canadian, 1923–1977)
A prominent Canadian photojournalist of the mid-twentieth century, Lambeth studied fine art in London and Paris before committing to a career in photography. Throughout the 1960s his work was published in Life, Maclean’s, Saturday Night, Star Weekly, and Time. It is known to convey a deep concern for social issues and interest in urban street life.
LaPalme, Robert (Canadian, 1908–1997)
A prolific and influential illustrator and political cartoonist published in almost every French language newspaper in Quebec and an outspoken critic of Premier Maurice Duplessis. LaPalme was also a painter and acted as the artistic director of Expo ’67 in Montreal, and of Montreal’s metro, where he instituted a program of public art. Three of his own murals are featured in Montreal’s metro system.
According to Christian belief, the final meal that Jesus shared with his apostles before his crucifixion. The Last Supper is a popular subject in Christian religious and folk art.
Last Supper, The
A mural painting by Leonardo da Vinci depicting Jesus’s last supper, with his apostles, as described in the Gospel of John. Dating from 1495–98 and measuring 460 by 880 centimetres, The Last Supper covers a wall in part of the church of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan.
Le Jeune, Paul (French, 1591–1664)
An indefatigable Jesuit priest regarded as a founder of the Jesuit missions in Canada. He spent ten years on missions in New France, and over ten more in France, as an administrator of Canadian missionary activities. He was the first editor of the Relations des Jésuites de la Nouvelle-France, an important tool of missionary propaganda and, later, source of Canadian history.
Le Moyne, Suzanne Rivard (Canadian, 1928–2012)
A painter, educator, and fine arts advocate in Canada from the 1960s to the 1980s. Le Moyne was head of visual arts at both the Canada Council for the Arts and the University of Ottawa; in 1972 she established the Canada Council Art Bank, now the country’s largest collection of contemporary art.
Lebrun, Rico (Italian/American, 1900–1964)
A commercial artist, painter, sculptor, and muralist. The human form inspired his work. He took as a central theme the human predicament. A popular and influential instructor of art and illustration, his Crucifixion series of abstracted figures is perhaps his best-known work.
Leduc, Fernand (Canadian, 1916–2014)
A painter and member of the Montreal-based Automatistes. Leduc’s earlier paintings evince his interest in Surrealism and automatism; later he began to work in a more formalist mode and then in a hard-edge style, which linked him to the Plasticien movement.
Leduc, Ozias (Canadian, 1864–1955)
A painter and church muralist whose work conveys a sense of intimacy and tranquility. Leduc’s religious paintings—which decorate chapels in Quebec, Nova Scotia, and New England—combine devotional iconography with a Symbolist use of light and colour. Leduc is also known as a painter of still lifes and landscapes.
Lee Nam (Chinese/Canadian, dates unknown, flourished c. 1930s)
An immigrant from China, Lee Nam was employed as a bookkeeper by a Chinese merchant in Victoria, British Columbia. He practised the traditional art of Chinese brush painting. During 1933–35 he was an inspiration to Emily Carr, who left an account of his work in her journals, published as Hundreds and Thousands: The Journals of Emily Carr (1966). As yet no surviving works by Lee Nam have been located.
Lee-Nova, Gary (Canadian, b. 1943)
Lee-Nova first gained recognition for his hard-edge paintings, but in the late 1960s became a key figure in Vancouver’s growing mail art and performance art movements. He was actively involved in Michael Morris and Vincent Trasov’s Image Bank project, and often worked under the pseudonyms Art Rat and Artimus Rat.
Légaré, Joseph (Canadian, 1795–1855)
An important figure in pre-Confederation Canadian art history, whose corpus includes portraits of First Nations peoples and distinctly Canadian landscapes. Légaré was influenced by European romantic and baroque painting, and he collected and restored numerous seventeenth-century canvases from the Continent. He opened Quebec’s first art gallery in 1833.
Léger, Fernand (French, 1881–1955)
A leading figure of the Paris avant-garde, whose ideas about modern art, spread through his writing and teaching as well as his own artistic output, would guide a generation of artists. Prolific in media from paint to ceramics to film, Léger was appreciated for his diverse styles, which ranged from Cubist abstraction in the 1910s to realist imagery in the 1950s.
Leiterman, Richard (Canadian, 1935–2005)
A cinematographer whose technical creativity and sensitive style helped shape the look of English-Canadian film in the formative 1960s and 1970s. Leiterman worked in television and on numerous milestone documentaries and feature films; he was the cinematographer for Joyce Wieland’s 1976 film The Far Shore.
Lemieux, Jean Paul (Canadian, 1904–1990)
A painter of landscapes and figures, who used these forms to express what he saw as the solitariness of human existence. Lemieux taught at the École des beaux-arts in Quebec City for thirty years, until 1967. He has been the subject of several major retrospectives at Canadian museums. (See Jean Paul Lemieux: Life & Work by Michèle Grandbois.)
Lennie, Beatrice (Canadian, 1905–1987)
A painter, sculptor, theatre designer, cinema art director, and educator trained at the Vancouver School of Decorative and Applied Arts (now the Emily Carr University of Art + Design) and the California School of Fine Arts. She taught sculpture at the short-lived British Columbia College of Arts in 1934 and, in the 1930s and 1940s, was one of the few women sculptors in Canada. She is known for her semi-abstract paintings and sculptures, which were exhibited across Canada and in the western United States.
Leonardo da Vinci (Italian, 1452–1519)
The patriarch of the Italian High Renaissance and the creator of the Mona Lisa. Leonardo’s paintings, sculptures, and architectural and decorative designs altered ideas of what Western art could be, and his writings influenced the concepts of ideal artistic representation and expression through the modern era.
Levasseur, Noël (Canadian, c. 1680)
The leading wood sculptor of New France. After studying his craft in Saint-Joachim and Montreal, he settled in Quebec and opened a workshop in 1703. Levasseur specialized in religious furniture; his retable for the chapel of the Ursuline Monastery in Quebec City (1732–1736) is one of the major works in the history of Quebecois sculpture.
Levine, Les (Irish/Canadian/American, b. 1935)
An important figure in twentieth-century conceptual art, whose work addresses questions of consumerism and disposability. Levine is noted particularly for his pioneering use of mass media, including television, radio, billboards, posters, and telephone conversations; he was among the first artists to work with videotape. Born in Dublin, he lived in Canada in the 1960s and early 1970s.
Lichtenstein, Roy (American, 1923–1997)
A significant American Pop artist known for appropriating the forms of comic books. His large-scale paintings enlarge the motifs of his source material, highlighting their artificiality and the compositional rules that govern their appearance. In the 1960s Lichtenstein began to work with offset lithography, the medium of commercial printing.
Lindner, Ernest (Austrian/Canadian, 1897–1988)
An expert printmaker, watercolourist, and draftsman, who found his preferred subjects in the forests of Saskatchewan, where he moved upon emigrating from Austria in 1926. His later pictures often blended human and plant forms. His work is held in major museums across Canada, including the National Gallery.
Linnaeus, Carl (Swedish, 1707–1778)
One of the most important figures in modern science, who developed the concept and practice of taxonomy, or the ordering of living things. His system for naming and classifying organisms, though much revised, has been in use for over 200 years. His work has been studied by all naturalists from his own time to the present.
Lionni, Leo (Dutch/Italian, 1910–1999)
Influenced by Futurism and the Bauhaus, Lionni was a painter and sculptor who also worked as a commercial artist in advertising and magazine publishing (notably for Fortune, Time-Life, and Sports Illustrated). He began writing and illustrating children’s books in 1959.
Lismer, Arthur (British/Canadian, 1885–1969)
A landscape painter and founding member of the Group of Seven, Lismer immigrated to Canada from England in 1911. He was also an influential educator of adults and children, and he created children’s art schools at both the Art Gallery of Ontario (1933) and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (1946).
A type of print invented in 1798 in Germany by Aloys Senefelder. Like other planographic methods of image reproduction, lithography relies on the fact that grease and water do not mix. Placed in a press, the moistened and inked lithographic stone will print only those areas previously designed with greasy lithographic ink.
Lochhead, Kenneth (Canadian, 1926–2006)
Although Lochhead’s career spanned numerous styles, he is perhaps best known for his colour-field paintings of the 1960s and 1970s. Directly inspired by Barnett Newman and the critic Clement Greenberg, he was instrumental in bringing the principles of modernist abstract painting to Regina, where he was director of the University of Saskatchewan’s School of Art.
Lockerby, Mabel (Canadian, 1882–1976)
A member of the Beaver Hall Group, the Canadian Group of Painters, and the Contemporary Arts Society. Lockerby’s modernist paintings are defined by a strong sense of design. Her work is held at the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; the Montreal Museum of Fine Art; and the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto.
From the 1960s to the early 1990s, the arts community in London, Ontario, was exceptionally productive and dynamic, centred on the artists Greg Curnoe and Jack Chambers. Like-minded local artists, writers, and musicians rejected the notion of the metropolis as the necessary location and subject of artistic production, preferring to look for inspiration in their own lives and region.
Lorrain, Claude (c. 1604–1682)
A painter, printmaker, and draughtsman, and master of the landscape—a genre that did not exist as such in his day. Lorrain employed a limited palette of colours to achieve remarkable atmospheric effects, and his study of light falling on natural environments, evident in both his paintings and prints, was unique for his time.
Louis, Morris (American, 1912–1962)
A painter perhaps best known for the series of stained canvases he made in the 1950s after seeing the work of Helen Frankenthaler. Along with fellow Washington artist Kenneth Noland, he became a major exponent of colour-field painting, the stylistic successor to Abstract Expressionism, which the critic Clement Greenberg would champion as Post-Painterly Abstraction.
Luke, Alexandra (Canadian, 1901–1967)
An Abstract Expressionist painter and a member of Painters Eleven, Luke trained at the Banff School of Fine Arts and the Hans Hofmann School of Fine Arts in Massachusetts. A significant figure in early Canadian abstract art, she was included in the exhibition Canadian Women Artists in New York in 1947.
In the mid-twentieth century, critics began to use the term “Luminism” to describe a style of American landscape art that grew out of the Hudson River School some hundred years earlier. Like the Impressionists, American Luminists were interested in representing effects of light, but in contrast to their French counterparts, their paintings are highly detailed and their brushstrokes hidden. Key figures in this group include Frederic Edwin Church, Albert Bierstadt, John Frederick Kensett, and Fitz Henry Lane.
Lyman, John (Canadian, 1886–1967)
A painter and art critic. Founder of the Contemporary Arts Society and a champion of Canadian artistic culture, Lyman established the short-lived art school The Atelier and wrote for the Montrealer. In opposition to perspectives invested in a distinctly Canadian painting style, Lyman advocated for an international approach.
A style of abstract art that arose within the larger movement of Art Informel, itself known as the European complement of American Abstract Expressionism. Art Informel paintings typically drew inspiration from the natural world; they were less rigid and more expressive than geometric abstraction, which was dominant at the time.