A.Y. Jackson was born in Montreal, Quebec, in 1882. At the age of twelve, he entered into the world of art when he left school and began work at a printing firm. Jackson went on to study at the Academie Julian in Paris, along with Matisse and Picasso, and was a member of the Post-Impressionist community.
In February of 1914, Tom Thomson introduced Jackson to the wilderness of Canada in Algonquin Park and along the Oxtongue River. Jackson had this to say about his time with Thomson: “he taught me to camp, light a fire, and stay alive in the wilds, something I would put to use during the rest of my life.”
Later in 1914, in the second week of September, Jackson and Thomson camped below Tea Lake Dam on the Oxtongue River. On that visit, Jackson made many sketches of the Oxtongue River’s trees, leaves, rocks and rapids.
From those sketches in November 1914, he painted one of his most famous landscape paintings, “The Red Maple”. Today, the original of that painting hangs in the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.