Robert Wakeham Pilot

Robert Wakeham Pilot was born on October 9, 1898 in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, and died in Montreal on December 17, 1967. A painter, engraver, and muralist, he is mostly known for his scenes of the St. Lawrence River, Quebec City and Lévis, and the marinas of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. His unique style and vision also helped to propagate a picturesque image of Canada. In Montreal, Pilot studied under William Brymner, Edmond Dyonnet, and Maurice Galbraith Cullen, who also happened to be his father- in-law. In 1916, during the First World War, Pilot enlisted in the army—a duty he would later repeat in 1941, in the middle of the Second World War, serving as a captain in The Black Watch Regiment. From 1920 to 1922, he trained at the Académie Julian in Paris, and he exhibited his work at the Salon de Paris at the end of his studies. After he visited the artists’ colony at Concarneau, his work began to show Impressionist influences. In 1925, he was elected an associate member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts, of which he served as president from 1952 to 1954. Today, his works can be found in the collections of the National Gallery of Canada and the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec. In 1969, the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal presented a posthumous retrospective of his work.

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