Special Themes

The Navy: A Century in Art

The Canadian navy is the product of Canada's people, geography, and wars. A focal point for service, comradeship, and pride for more than a century, the navy remains a potent symbol of Canadian identity and a valued instrument of Canadian statecraft. In the early moments of the navy's second century, these paintings reflect quietly on the legacy of its first.

Burial at SeaPainted by Harold Beament in 1944
Burial at Sea
Painted by Harold Beament in 1944

The artist based this painting in part on his own experiences during the battle of the St. Lawrence, including himself as the saluting officer on the right.

Beament later recalled the death of a merchant sailor during a torpedo attack: "I sent a boat to pull him out, but he was dead? I organized a funeral service, which was very risky because we didn't know exactly how many submarines were around?" The respect for fallen comrades is a physical presence in the painting.

Beaverbrook Collection of War Art
CWM 19710261-0993

Burial at Sea Painted by Harold Beament in 1944
Graveyard, Sorel P.Q. Painted by Anthony (Tony) Law in 1945
Olympic with Returned Soldiers Painted by Arthur Lismer in 1919