Robert Genn

(1936 - 2014)

Robert Genn was born in Victoria, British Columbia, in 1936. He attended Victoria College, the University of British Columbia, and The Art Centre School in Los Angeles, California.

One of Canada's most accomplished painters, he gained recognition on an international scale for his genre subjects on Canada's West Coast. He painted in most parts of Canada and in the United States, South America, Europe and the Orient.

Strongly influenced by the Group of Seven, Genn carried on the tradition of strong design, fresh painterly techniques, and the reduction of grand themes to small panels. Genn's autobiographical book "In Praise of Painting", has been well accepted as a rare and insightful statement of an artist's early progress as a Canadian painter.

Genn obtained his material on extensive trips. He backpacked both the Chilkoot and the arduous West Coast Trail in B.C.

In 1995, he walked the Robert Louis Stevenson Trail in central France, a journey of over 100 miles, painting the same scenes that Stevenson had portrayed in 1878. On another journey requiring six separate trips, Genn retraced the steps of Henry Bartlett, an English adventurer,artist and topographer, who travelled from Halifax to Niagara Falls via the St. Lawrence River 1839, painting and sketching en route. Genn's quest was to revisit the locations and recreate the scenes as they currently exist. He was accompanied by historian Thomas Fleming of Vancouver, who prepared the itinerary with the help of regional museums.

His dedication and perseverance sustained him through the fluctuations of the art market of the last five decades, and he has passed the most crucial test of the artist, the test of time.

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