Lilias Newton

Lilias Newton, née Torrance, portrait painter (b at Montréal 3 Nov 1896; d there 10 Jan 1980). A witty and sophisticated portrait painter, Newton studied in London, Paris and Montréal. She joined the Beaver Hall Hill Group in 1920 and was elected associate member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts in 1923 and member in 1937 (its third woman member). A founding member of the Canadian Group of Painters (1933), she taught at the Museé des beaux-arts de Montréal (1937-40). Her portraits hang in most universities and many boardrooms; pictures of 4 notable colleagues - A.Y. Jackson, Lawren Harris, Edwin Holgate, and Arthur Lismer - are at the National Gallery. Her work is distinguished by fresh colour, vigorous composition and sharp insight. Informal portraits of her son Forbes and of friends show great charm and rapport. In 1956 she painted the official portraits of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip for Rideau Hall.