John Young Johnstone by Edwin Holgate, 1917
Born in Montreal in 1887, John Young Johnstone studied at the Art Association of Montreal under William Brymner, Royal Canadian Academy of Arts, and in Paris at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière Under Pau, Casteluche, Simon, and Ménard. He was most successful in his early thirties. Newton MacTavish included him amongst the very fine painters in Canada in 1925 and his painting « A Quebec Village » (an oil on panel) was reproduced in MacTavish’s The Fine Arts in Canada. In 1930 he went to Havana, Cuba, and somehow became destitute and died there at the age of 43.
Johnstone painted street, harbour and rural scenes.
His style was rather beautiful being a simplified realism also with the influence of the Impressionnists.
He exhibited his paintings at the Montreal Spring shows and with the Royal Canadian Academy.
He was elected Associate of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts in 1920.
The National Gallery of Canada acquired four of his canvases, « Quai des Augustins Bruges » (acq.1915), « Bonsecours Market » (acq. 1916), « LeBassin Louise À Québec » (acq.1922) and « The Road, Saint-Joachim, Quebec » (acq. 1924).
Source: Colin S. MacDonald, « Johnstone, John Young » dans A dictionary of canadian artists, volume 3, Canadian Paperbacks, 1975, p. 571