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MSVU Collection

¤ Tom Forrestall

Date of Work
¤ 1973

Accession Year
¤ 1974

Accession Number
¤ 1974.1.4

¤ In storage

¤ Drawing

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Tom Forrestall: The 68th 1973

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Tom Forrestall
(b. 1936 Middleton, NS; lives in Darmouth, NS)

The 68th 1973
egg tempera on masonite
30.8 x 30.8 cm
Purchased, 1974
Mount Saint Vincent University Collection

The renowned Canadian realist painter, Tom Forrestall, spent much of his childhood in Middleton, Nova Scotia, before moving to Dartmouth. At an early age, he began attending art classes at the Nova Scotia College.

These four preparatory works and finished painting, The 68th, were purchased in 1974. They show the process of an artist who is renowned for his naturalistic paintings. On the back of The 68th King’s County Regiment, the artist has written “the little cap of the 68th King’s County Militia was lent to me by a friend. It sat in my studio for months until one day I put it on.” While working on this study for The 68th, Forrestall considered that he was painting the cap, rather than a self-portrait, yet, the studies provide a detailed likeness.

Forrestall avoided the rectangular canvas format, opting instead to paint on canvases shaped to accommodate his unorthodox compositions. Egg tempera is his most usual medium, although he also excels technically in watercolour, lithography, and drawing media.

Forrestall received his BFA from Mount Allison University in 1958, where he studied under Alex Colville. He has exhibited widely, and early in his career received one of the first grants for independent study from the Canada Council for the Arts, allowing him to travel throughout Europe. In 2008, a retrospective of his work was shown at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia.


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