Visual arts: Montreal played key role in spread of Impressionism to Canada

Montreal artists, dealers and collectors play prominent roles in a new book that traces Impressionism from its roots in France to Canada, where it slowly became accepted and finally flourished.

Impressionism in Canada: A Journey of Rediscovery by A.K. Prakash, a Toronto-based collector and art consultant, tells how Montreal became a North American centre of the first modernist art movement. It does so in a book with 802 pages, including 650 illustrations, most of them colour images of paintings.

Prakash’s book doubles as an introduction to Impressionism in general as it describes its birth in France and its arrival in the U.S. on the backs of American artists who studied in Paris, a decade — and 140 pages — before Canadians followed suit.

“What the artists associated with (Impressionism) all had in common was their dedication to painting subjects from modern life, though they used a variety of distinctive techniques in their work, such as

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