• Eakins, Thomas (American, 1844–1916)

    A painter, sculptor, and photographer best known for his psychological and often unflattering portrait paintings. Success came posthumously to Eakins; little admired during his life, in the 1930s he came to be celebrated as one of his era’s greatest American artists.

  • East, Benoît (Canadian, b. 1915–n.d.)

    A painter and printmaker influenced by luminaries of the French avant-garde, including Georges Braque and Henri Matisse. He is best known for creating, with Marius Plamondon, a sixty-foot stained glass window for Montreal’s Queen Elizabeth Hotel. East taught lithography and engraving at the École des beaux-arts de Québec (now part of Université Laval).

  • Eastlake, Charles Herbert (British/Canadian, 1867–1953)

    The husband of the Canadian artist Mary Bell Eastlake, Charles Herbert Eastlake was a British painter. After training in Europe, he established himself in London and spent time with the plein air painters of St. Ives in Cornwall, where he met his wife.

  • Eastlake, Mary Bell (Canadian, 1864–1951)

    A painter, jewellery maker, and watercolourist, Eastlake was born in Ontario and later studied with William Merritt Chase in New York and at the Académie Colarossi in Paris. From about 1893 to 1939, Eastlake lived in England, where she designed and produced jewellery with her husband. She exhibited widely with many art associations in Canada and held a solo exhibition at the Art Gallery of Toronto (now the Art Gallery of Ontario) in 1927.

  • Eastman, Seth (American, 1808–1875)

    An artist, topographer, and military officer who trained at West Point Military Academy. While stationed in Minnesota, Eastman began depicting First Nations peoples, and in 1847 he was commissioned to illustrate the monumental study Indian Tribes of the United States for the U.S. Congress.

  • Eaton, Wyatt (Canadian/American, 1849–1896)

    A landscape, genre, and portrait painter as well as an illustrator, Eaton was born in Quebec’s Eastern Townships, but moved to New York City in 1867 before spending four years, 1872–1876, working and studying in London and Paris. Following his first trip to France he was inspired by the work of Jean-François Millet and other artists of the Barbizon school. Eaton taught at The Cooper Union art school in New York, and was a founding member of the Society of Canadian Artists, as well as of both the American Art Association and its successor, the Society of American Artists.

  • Eckankar

    Founded by American Paul Twitchell in 1965, this religious movement was influenced by surat shabd yoga. Followers of Eckankar adopt various practices that facilitate soul transcendence by allowing a connection with the Divine Light and Sound. Eckankar translates as “coworker with God.”

  • École des beaux-arts

    A major institution in nineteenth-century France, the École des beaux-arts has its origins in the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture established by Louis XIV in 1648. This academy was suppressed during the French Revolution, and the École was established in 1819, becoming the new national art school. It was based on an atelier system in which students worked in studios with different master artists, learning to draw in the academic tradition and participating in regular competitions.

  • École des beaux-arts de Montréal

    The École des beaux-arts de Montréal was founded in 1922, the same year as its sister institution, the École des beaux-arts de Québec. The curriculum emphasized industrial arts, trades, and commercial design, but the school gradually came into its own as an important training ground for painters, sculptors, and other serious artists, culminating in what has been called its “golden age” in the late 1950s and early 1960s. In 1969 it was absorbed into the fine arts department of the Université du Québec à Montréal.

  • École des beaux-arts de Québec

    Founded in 1922, the École des beaux-arts de Québec became an important centre for the study of applied arts and fine arts, including architecture, drawing, engraving, tapestry, decorative arts (design), and art history. Among its famous students were Maximilien Boucher, Raoul Hunter, and Alfred Pellan. In 1970 the school became part of Université Laval.

  • École du meuble

    In 1930 the artist Jean-Marie Gauvreau established the École du meuble, which trained its students in technical arts and drawing, painting, design, art history, sculpture, and even law. Many of Quebec’s future avant-garde artists, including Paul-Émile Borduas, Marcel Barbeau, Maurice Perron, and other signatories of the Refus global (1948), taught or received their training here.

  • Edson, Aaron Allan (Canadian, 1846–1888)

    A leading landscape painter of his day, Edson spent time living and studying in England, Scotland, and France at various points in his life, but otherwise centred his career in Montreal and in Quebec’s Eastern Townships. His early interest in vivid detail was augmented by his rich and sophisticated sense of colour, and by his poetic experiments with the depiction of light. Edson was a founding member of the Society of Canadian Artists (1867). His death at the age of forty-one cut short one of the most accomplished artistic careers of his day in Canada.

  • Egolessness

    Characterized by the lack of a distinct self or ego, egolessness is a central tenant of Buddhism, where it describes a “middle way” between a belief in an eternal self or soul that continues after the death of the body and a belief in a temporary self that is contained within and dependent on a physical or material body for its existence. Instead, the ego is posited as a process rather than a stable entity or sense of self, which must be lost or forgotten on the way to enlightenment.

  • Eisenstein, Sergei (Russian, 1898–1948)

    Born in Riga, Latvia (at the time part of the Russian Empire), Sergei Eisenstein was an influential Soviet filmmaker. He developed the idea of montage—inserting images independent of the film’s main action to generate psychological impact—and wrote theoretical works describing the essential place of the technique in his understanding of film. Working in the U.S.S.R. and Mexico, Eisenstein made films using recent history (Battleship Potemkin, 1925) and medieval epic (Alexander Nevsky, 1938) to depict social issues, espousing a Bolshevik ideal of collectivism and formalist principles that often put him at odds with the Stalinist government.

  • El Greco (Greek, c.1541–1614)

    Painter, sculptor, and architect considered the first master of the Spanish School. Born Doménikos Theotokópoulos in Crete, El Greco settled in Toledo, Spain, in 1576, where he executed major commissions throughout his career, including the prized altarpieces Espolio, 1577–79, and Burial of Count Orgaz, 1586–88.

  • Elder, Bruce (Canadian, b. 1947)

    An experimental filmmaker, critic, philosopher, and teacher, Elder rose to prominence in the 1980s with his film cycle The Book of All the Dead (1975–94) among the most ambitious projects in the history of avant-garde cinema. His book Image and Identity: Reflections on Canadian Film and Culture (1989) is highly regarded and features in Canadian Studies programs.

  • en plein air

    French for “in the open air,” en plein air is used to describe the practice of painting or sketching outdoors to observe nature, and in particular the changing effects of weather, atmosphere, and light.

  • Encaustic

    A form of painting using hot beeswax mixed with pigment, encaustic painting first emerged in Ancient Greece, with the earliest surviving examples being the Fayum mummy portraits produced in Egypt between the first and third centuries CE. The medium experienced a resurgence in the twentieth century, with artists including Jasper Johns and Tony Sherman producing work in encaustic.

  • engraving

    The name applied to both a type of print and the process used in its production. Engravings are made by cutting into a metal, wood, or plastic plate with specialized tools and then inking the incised lines. The ink is transferred to paper under the immense pressure of a printing press.

  • Ennutsiak (Nunavik/Iqaluit, 1896–1967)

    An Inuit sculptor from northern Quebec, Ennutsiak gained early recognition for his scenes of everyday life; he tackled unusual subjects such as birthing scenes and groups of people reading the Bible.

  • Erickson, Arthur (Canadian, 1924–2009)

    The first Canadian architect to win an American Institute of Architects Gold Medal (1986), Erickson completed numerous projects in Canada and internationally. His Vancouver office introduced modernist residential projects that brought new aesthetics to the city’s architecture in the 1950s. He went on to design contributions to Expo 67 and Expo 70 as well as permanent structures such as Toronto’s Roy Thomson Hall and the original campus for Simon Fraser University.

  • Estes, Richard (American, b. 1932)

    A Photorealist painter whose pictures are often constructed from more than one photographic source image, thereby presenting a “reality” that never existed or could never be perceived by the naked eye. His preferred subject is the built environment, typically of New York City.

  • etching

    A printmaking technique that follows the same principles as engraving but uses acid instead of a burin to cut through the plate. A copper plate is coated with a waxy acid resist; the artist draws an image into the wax with a needle. The plate is then immersed in an acid bath, incising the lines and leaving the rest of the plate untouched.

  • ethnic art

    A term historically used to refer to art by non-Western artists, ethnic art was traditionally collected by ethnographic and natural history museums rather than art galleries. The term has been criticized for separating non-Western artists, including Indigenous artists, from their Western peers, and excluding them from art markets and discussions of art’s place in society both historically and in the present day.

  • Etrog, Sorel (Romanian/Canadian, 1933–2014)

    A painter, illustrator, draftsman, and filmmaker, Etrog was known principally as a sculptor, creating variously sized abstract works reflecting the human form. One of his many commissions was the bronze statuette known from 1968 to 1980 as the Etrog, the award for excellence presented to Canadian filmmakers, subsequently called the Genie. His work is in important public and private collections in Canada, the United States, and Europe. (See Sorel Etrog: Life & Work by Alma Mikulinsky.)

  • Ewart (née Clay), Mary (American/Canadian, 1872–1939)

    American-born painter who settled in Winnipeg in 1907. Ewart trained at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and with John Singer Sargent and James McNeill Whistler. She was a strong advocate for the establishment of the Winnipeg Art Gallery and Winnipeg School of Art, arguing for social as well as aesthetic reasons. Ewart also served as president of the Western Art Association.

  • Ewen, Paterson (Canadian, 1925–2002)

    Born in Montreal and later settling in London, Ontario, Ewen was involved with the Automatistes, the Plasticiens, and the London Regionalists, although he was never fully identified with a single movement. His mature works embraced experimentation with colour combinations and textures, and the use of gouged plywood as a painting surface. These invoked landscape and natural elements through abstract and geometric gestures. (See Paterson Ewen: Life & Work by John Hatch.)

  • ex-libris

    An ex-libris (or bookplate) is a personal engraving pasted into the front of a book that indicates ownership. The term originates form the Latin phrase ex libris meis, which signifies that the book is a part of someone’s collection.

  • ex-voto

    Directed at a god or saint, an ex-voto is an offering: for something desired, or in gratitude for something that has been received. These offerings may be in the form of pictures, printed Bible verses, figurines, crucifixes, other religious objects, or small personal items such as clothing, jewellery, or toys.

  • Exhibition of Contemporary Canadian Painting (“Southern Dominions Exhibition”)

    Titled in full the Exhibition of Contemporary Canadian Painting: Arranged on Behalf of the Carnegie Corporation of New York for Circulation in the Southern Dominions of the British Empire, this show was first held at the Empire Exhibition in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 1936. It subsequently toured major cities in South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and Hawaii from September 1936 to April 1939.

  • Exhibition of Paintings, Drawings, and Sculpture by Artists of the British Empire Overseas (“Coronation Exhibition”) London, England, 1937

    An exhibition held at the Royal Institute Galleries, London, that formed part of the celebrations for the Coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth on May 12, 1937. The Canadian section subsequently toured to several English regional galleries until April 1938.

  • exoticism

    Exoticism is most often used to describe a quality of unusualness or unfamiliarity. When the term “exoticism” is used to discuss works of art or attitudes toward them, it refers to a way of looking at something that focuses on its otherness. Often, this means valuing a different culture specifically for its difference, rather than attempting to understand the numerous complex ways in which culture shapes society.

  • Expo 67

    The world’s fair of 1967, held in Montreal, was a celebration of Canada’s Centennial. With sixty-two participating nations and attendance of over 50 million people, Expo solidified Montreal’s reputation as an international city and Canada’s as a place for innovation.

  • Expo 86

    Fifty-five countries participated in this world’s fair, held in Vancouver in celebration of the city’s centennial. Attended by over 22 million people, Expo 86 is now recognized as having been instrumental to the growth and development of Vancouver and to raising the city’s status internationally.

  • Expressionism

    An intense, emotional style of art that values the representation of the artist’s subjective inner feelings and ideas. German Expressionism started in the early twentieth century in Germany and Austria. In painting, Expressionism is associated with an intense, jarring use of colour and brush strokes that are not naturalistic.

  • Exquisite Corpse

    A collaborative method of creating a work, invented by the Surrealists. A participant draws on a sheet of paper, folds it to conceal the illustration, and passes it to the next player to extend the drawing. André Breton wrote that the technique, adapted from an old parlour game of words, emerged among artist friends at 54 rue du Chateau, Paris. Early participants were Marcel Duchamp, Jacques Prévert, Man Ray, and Joan Miró.

  • Eyland, Cliff (Canadian, b.1954–2020)

    An artist, writer, curator, and professor of painting at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg. Since 1981 Eyland has concentrated on creating small-format drawings and paintings, the size of index cards. A permanent installation of over one thousand of his small paintings opened at the Millennium Library in Winnipeg in 2005, and another at Halifax Central Library in 2015.

  • Eyre, Ivan (Canadian, b. 1935)

    A lauded, prolific, and widely collected painter, sculptor, and draftsman. Eyre’s significance lies equally in his teaching; a professor of painting and drawing at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg for more than three decades, he has worked closely with generations of Canadian artists. He is known primarily for his majestic prairie landscapes.

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