Clarence Tillenius

Clarence Tillenius (1913 - 2012), a Manitoban of great artistic talent, contributed so much to our Canadian heritage through his art and worked ardently to preserve our wilderness.

Clarence TilleniusDr. Ian MacLaren referred to Clarence Tillenius as "the dean of Canadian Wildlife painters, a Canadian treasure whose worth to us increases by the year, and stands to continue doing so long after we have left this world to our children and the buffaloes."

This body of works is a heritage collection containing invaluable archival material. The works in the collection of the Pavilion Gallery Museum are comprehensive, significant, and representative of the many mediums and styles used by the ​Tillenius: oil and watercolour paintings, black and white sketches including colour notes to display the whole process, pen and ink drawing, charcoal sketches, pencil drawings and mixed media work.
All, whenever possible, include the preliminary work and notes of the artist and actual issues of the publications which contain reproductions of the original art in the collection. They show the format and scope of Tillenius art and the mandate and the contribution of his art to the preservation of heritage and cultural scenes starting in the early thirties to the present date.
For more than thirty years Father Van de Velde at Hall Beach in the High Arctic shared the lives of the Inuit. He knew better than any other, the awesome silences, the grim severities, the consummate thrills of these limitless horizons. In writing of the painting of the polar bear by Tillenius, the quiet priest summoned ​these words: "The picture of the white bear passes through the living intelligence and imagination of Tillenius who while communing with his subject, reproduces it alive."
A keen student of nature since his childhood days in the Manitoba Interlake region, Tillenius devoted his life to painting all species of Canadian wildlife. His sketches, paintings and dioramas are the product of years of close association with and careful observation of animals in their natural habitat. With fluid brushwork that suggests rather than renders detail, Tillenius' art portrays animals in their native environment and creates the illusion of actually being at the place represented.

  • Morning Sky, Clarence Tillenius
  • Black Stallion, Clarence Tillenius
  • Trappers in Birch Bark Canoe, Clarence Tillenius
  • Snow Geese, Clarence Tillenius
  • Inuit Polar Bear Hunt, Clarence Tillenius
  • Out for a Ride, Clarence Tillenius
  • White Rabbit Robe, Clarence Tillenius
  • Canoe Men Caught in Forest Fire, Clarence Tillenius