Cover image for Treasures of the National Gallery of Canada
Treasures of the National Gallery of Canada
National Gallery of Canada.
Corporate Author:
Publication Information:
Ottawa : National Gallery of Canada in association with Yale University Press, [2003]

Physical Description:
288 pages : color illustrations ; 30 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Added Author:

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
N910.O7 A73 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Oversize

On Order



This handsomely produced volume, featuring 128 full-page color illustrations, showcases a wide-ranging selection of the most outstanding works from Canada's largest art museum. Each of the pieces chosen for inclusion is introduced by a curatorial specialist, who sets it in its historical context and comments on its meaning and its place in the artist's oeuvre.

Pride of place is given to the Gallery's unparalleled holdings in Canadian art, but European art--paintings, sculptures, prints, and drawings--is equally well represented. Masterworks from the Inuit art collection are also included, as well as examples from the Gallery's small but distinguished Asian collection. In recent decades, photographs have become an increasingly important part of the Gallery's collecting mandate, both through its own collection and that of its affiliate the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography, and this emphasis too is amply reflected here.

Author Notes

David Franklin is Deputy Director and Chief Curator, National Gallery of Canada, and author of Painting in Renaissance Florence and Rosso in Italy.

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

Here is a fine sampling of the excellent collection in the largest visual arts museum in Canada. As one would expect, the holdings are concentrated on Canadian artists, but they include European, Asian, and Inuit art as well. Each of the 128 works represented is accompanied by an informative essay by one of the curators of the gallery or of the affiliate Museum of Contemporary Photography (MCP). The varied collection ranges from a marvelous Klimt oil of a nude, very pregnant woman to a charming Inuit drawing, Joyful Woman with Water Pail. There are a Matisse and a Nancy Spero, along with Benjamin West's famous Death of General Wolfe. The photographic collection, a later addition and generally housed at the MCP, includes the stars of that world, Atget, Brassa?, and Lange, as well as pioneers David Octavius Hill and William Henry Fox Talbot. The essays are articulate and informative, the full-page illustrations are excellent, and the entire work is elegantly produced. One would only wish a bit had been said about the building housing the collection. This is a much-needed addition to the literature of museum collections and as such would prove useful in academic as well as art libraries.-Paula Frosch, Metropolitan Museum of Art Lib., New York (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Franklin (deputy director, National Gallery of Canada), a respected scholar of Renaissance painting in Italy, has resuscitated a well-established bibliographic model. This is the illustrated anthology of a major art collection, having short essays by, in this case, the appropriate curatorial staff at the Gallery. Generally, these essays fall in the category of historically couched art appreciation. That idiom is entirely suited to the single-page high-quality color reproductions and to the content organization of pre-1945 Canadian and European art, Asian art, post-1945 Canadian and international art, Inuit art, and photography both from the Gallery and the associated Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography. This handsome book serves as an attractive, virtual perambulation of a major repository of visual culture. Within this broader purview, appropriate attention is given to the particular veins in Canadian practice, notably the diverse response to the natural environment by indigenous and early European settler artists, the mode of post-Impressionist landscape associated with the Group of Seven, and the more recent and contrived Vancouver School of photo-based conceptual art. Mainly directed to the interested general reader, it will prove helpful to researchers and faculty. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. General readers; upper-division undergraduates; faculty. R. W. Liscombe University of British Columbia