Maurice Cullen was a Canadian landscape painter known for his winter landscape paintings. He was born in St. John’s, Newfoundland in 1866 but was mostly raised in Montreal, Quebec. In 1889, he travelled to Paris to study at the École des Beaux-Arts and at the Académie Julian where he learned the traditional French style of Academic painting. While in Paris, Cullen discovered and was greatly inspired by the work of the Impressionists. During World War I, Cullen was assigned to be an official war artist to document the horrors of battle.
Cullen’s landscape paintings maintained the tradition of both European and Canadian painting, but employed more luminous, Impressionistic colours. Cullen’s Impressionist influence helped inspire the next generation of Canadian artists, having taught from 1891 to 1920 at the Art Association of Montreal. He was the first Canadian to be elected an associate member of the Société national des Beaux-Arts, Paris. In 1899, he was also elected to be an associate member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts.