Laura Muntz Lyall
Impressions of Women and Childhood By Joan Murray McGill-Queen’s University Press, 212 pages, $50 FOR many Canadians, this will be an introduction to the hand holding the paint brush responsible for Interesting Story, one of our nation’s most famous paintings. The familiar scene of two children snuggling in a chair to read a book, light streaming through a window behindhi d them,h was votedd in 2006 one of the most beloved works at the Art Gallery of Ontario. Laura Muntz Lyall painted women and children — and made a living at it, a rarity for any artist let alone a woman at the turn of the last century. In many ways, Lyall is this nation’s Mary Cassatt, the famed American painter of domestic scenes. Author and renowned curator Joan Murray includes more than 90 colour images of Lyall’s work, along with the artist’s life story and a selection of her personal letters, which draw a particularly interesting portrait of the artist.