Lionel FitzGerald


Lionel LeMoine FitzGerald (1890–1956) was a Canadian artist and art educator. He was born on March 17, 1890, in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and died in the same city on August 5, 1956. He developed his style slowly through an exploration of the relationships between lines, shapes, and colours, as he deemed the formal aspects of an artwork to be more important than the content or subject matter. He focused heavily on emulating the essence of the prairies and his home province of Manitoba in his paintings.

FitzGerald left school after grade eight to find work. He entered the field of business, although he found his office job to be unsatisfying. This led him to begin drawing in his spare time, using John Ruskin’s Elements of Drawing (1857) for the self-study of drawing and painting. He also took evening classes at the A.S. Kesthelyi School of Fine Art.

After marrying Felicia Wright (1883-1962) in 1912, FitzGerald began devoting more time towards his career as an artist. From interior decoration to theatre backdrops, FitzGerald supported his family through various small jobs that helped him garner attention. This attention allowed him to display works at the Royal Canadian Academy in Montreal in 1913, to have the National Gallery of Canada purchase his work titled Late Fall, Manitoba in 1918, and to hold his first solo exhibition in 1921 at the Winnipeg Art Gallery.

In 1929, FitzGerald became the principal of the Winnipeg Art School, and when the stock markets crashed that same year, he began to travel and observe other arts education programs across North America. The following year, his works were exhibited alongside those of the Group of Seven. After former Group of Seven member J.E.H. MacDonald died, FitzGerald was brought into the Group as a new member in 1932, although he only exhibited with them once as a member before their disbandment.


Lionel FitzGerald