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Laura Muntz Lyall
, June 18, 1860 – December 9, 1930, was a Canadian impressionist painter. Born Laura Adeline Muntz
in Leamington Spa
Royal Leamington Spa, commonly known as Leamington Spa or Leamington or Leam to locals, is a spa town in central Warwickshire, England. Formerly known as Leamington Priors, its expansion began following the popularisation of the medicinal qualities of its water by Dr Kerr in 1784, and by Dr Lambe...
Warwickshire is a landlocked non-metropolitan county in the West Midlands region of England. The county town is Warwick, although the largest town is Nuneaton. The county is famous for being the birthplace of William Shakespeare...
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...
, her family emigrated to Canada when she was a child to farm in the Muskoka District of Ontario
Ontario is a province of Canada, located in east-central Canada. It is Canada's most populous province and second largest in total area. It is home to the nation's most populous city, Toronto, and the nation's capital, Ottawa....
As a young woman, Muntz studied to teach school, but her interest in art led to her take lessons in painting technique from W.C. Forster of Hamilton, Ontario. Encouraged, she traveled to Paris, France to study at the renowned Académie Colarossi
The Académie Colarossi is an art school founded by the Italian sculptor Filippo Colarossi. First located on the Île de la Cité, it moved in the 1870s to 10 rue de la Grande-Chaumière in the VIe arrondissement of Paris, France....
where she was influenced by the impressionist
Impressionism was a 19th-century art movement that originated with a group of Paris-based artists whose independent exhibitions brought them to prominence during the 1870s and 1880s...
style. On her return to Canada, she set up a studio in Toronto
Toronto is the provincial capital of Ontario and the largest city in Canada. It is located in Southern Ontario on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario. A relatively modern city, Toronto's history dates back to the late-18th century, when its land was first purchased by the British monarchy from...
and became an Associate of the Royal College of Art (ARCA).
Laura Muntz Lyall was the first female artist to receive recognition outside of Canada. Some of her works were exhibited at the 1893 World Columbian Exposition in Chicago, Illinois, and then in 1894 as part of the Société des artistes français
The Société des Artistes Français is the association of French painters and sculptors established in 1881. Its annual exhibition is called the Salon....
in Paris. However, she interrupted her career following the death of her sister, when she took responsibility for raising a number of her sister's 11 children. She continued to devote whatever time she could find to painting, but she lived only a few more years and died in 1930 in Toronto.
Lyall is interred in the Mount Pleasant Cemetery
Mount Pleasant Cemetery is a cemetery located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.In the early 19th century, the only authorized cemeteries within the city of Toronto were limited to the members of either the Roman Catholic Church or the Church of England...