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Art Gallery of Ontario – Virtual Tour

Art Gallery of Ontario

Art Gallery of Ontario – Virtual Tour

The Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) collection includes an extensive collection of Canadian art, Renaissance and the Baroque masterpieces, European art, African and Oceanic art, and a modern and contemporary collection.

The museum contains impressive photography, drawing and prints collections, a sculpture center, as well as historic objects, miniatures, frames, books and medieval illuminations, film and video art, graphic art, installations, architecture, and ship models.

A Virtual Tour of Art Gallery of Ontario

Highlights of Art Gallery of Ontario

“Massacre of the Innocents” by Peter Paul Rubens

“Massacre of the Innocents” by Peter Paul Rubens depicts an episode from the biblical Massacre in Bethlehem, as told in the Gospel of Matthew.

According to the Gospel, Herod the Great, the Roman appointed King of the Jews, ordered the execution of all male children two years old and under in the vicinity of Bethlehem.

He ordered this brutal act to protect himself from the loss of his throne to a newborn King of the Jews whose birth had been announced to him by the Magi.

In Matthew’s account, the Magi from the east go to Judea in search of the newborn king of the Jews, having “seen his star in the east.” King Herod directs them to Bethlehem and asks them to let him know who this king is when they find him.

They see Jesus and honor him, but an angel tells them not to alert Herod, and they return home by another way.

“I Am Half-Sick of Shadows, Said the Lady of Shalott” by John William Waterhouse

“I Am Half-Sick of Shadows, Said the Lady of Shalott” by John William Waterhouse is the third painting by Waterhouse that depicts a scene from the Tennyson 1832 poem, “The Lady of Shalott.”

The scene shows the plight of a young woman from Arthurian legend, who yearned for the outside world but was isolated under a curse in a tower near King Arthur’s Camelot.

The lady wears a red dress, in a small dark room with Romanesque column windows. The Lady of Shalott was forbidden to look directly at the outside world.

She was doomed to view the world through a mirror and weave what she saw into a tapestry.

In this painting, Waterhouse shows the large round mirror, through which the Lady views the world. He also captures her yearning look as she sees a couple in the bottom right of the mirror.

“Daedalus and Icarus” by Anthony van Dyck

“Daedalus and Icarus” by Anthony van Dyck shows Icarus’s father warning his son Icarus first of complacency and then of hubris as he points to his head.

Icarus is trying to impress on his youthful son not to be complacent and fly too low as the sea’s dampness would not clog his wings. He also warns Icarus of the hubris of flying too high to the sun where the heat will melt the wax in his wings.

Unfortunately, the young Icarus ignored or forgot his father’s instructions not to fly too high to the sun, and when the wax in his wings melted, he tumbled out of the sky.

Icarus drowned in the area which today bears his name, the Icarian Sea near Icaria, an island southwest of Samos, Greece

“Study for Northern River” by Tom Thomson

The Study for “Northern River” by Tom Thomson was the artist’s first gouache study for the “Northern River” oil painting. The work was brightly colored because gouache reflects more light than oil on canvas.

To make the eventual studio painting livelier, Thomson included reds, oranges, and yellows within the foreground.

The final canvas closely follows the original study, however further foreground space was added to convey the depth, and the trees are more defined, with less foliage.

Thomson first visited Algonquin Park in 1912, venturing through the area on a canoe trip. Thomson’s transition from commercial art towards his original style of painting began to be apparent around this time.

“The West Wind” by Tom Thomson

“The West Wind” by Tom Thomson is based on a slightly different sketch he produced in 1916 while working as a park ranger in Algonquin Park.

In this finished canvas, Thomson moved the pine further to the right, replaced a less defined foreground plane with strongly patterned rock shapes, and removed a dead tree limb from the ground.

Though not imposing in scale, the background is composed in an art-nouveau sensibility. It was painted in the last year of Thomson’s life and was one of his final works on canvas.

“Round Lake, Mud Bay” by Tom Thomson

“Round Lake, Mud Bay” by Tom Thomson depicts wild Geese flying back in a “V” shaped formation over Round Lake, Ontario.

Thomson was preoccupied with capturing the sky, especially near the end of his career, from 1915 onward.

In his paintings from 1913 onwards, he consistently utilized the perspective of his canoe. This composition has a narrow foreground of water, a distant shoreline, and a dominating sky.

“Sketch for Morning Cloud” by Tom Thomson

“Sketch for Morning Cloud” by Tom Thomson depicts the morning clouds over the wilderness the artists loved. Thomson learned of the Algonquin Park from fellow artist Tom McLean.

In 1912, aged 34, he first visited the Park, venturing through the area on a canoe trip, and discovered Canoe Lake Station and camping nearby on Smoke Lake.

He returned as often as he could to the lake views to sketch his sky landscapes during different seasons and light conditions.

Art Gallery of Ontario

  • Name:              Art Gallery of Ontario
  • French:             Musée des beaux-arts de l’Ontario
  • Established:     1900
  • Type:                Art museum
  • Location:          317 Dundas Street West, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

A Virtual Tour of the Museums in Canada





Map for Art Gallery of Ontario

Canadian Proverbs, Quotes, and Sayings

Art Gallery Of Ontario (AGO) , Toronto, Ontario

The Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) in Toronto – Ontario, Canada


“Patience is a tree whose root is bitter, but its fruit is very sweet.”
– Canadian Proverb


Photo Credit: 1) By John (JOH_7977) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

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