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Canadian artist, Paul Peel, was the first Canadian figure painter to win an international medal. This medal was awarded at the 1890 Paris Salon, where he was the only Canadian to be awarded the coveted prize. The artist received recognition worldwide for his works of art and was able to gain international fame. 

John Robert Peel spent most of 1883 in London, Ontario, painting portraits and landscapes there. He also painted several scenes of the bustling Covent Garden Market. These paintings won him seven first prizes in the Industrial Exhibition of 1884 in Toronto. After the exhibition in Toronto, Peel moved to Paris and began working on his first large-scale genre painting, "The spinner," which marked a significant turning point in his career. His work is best known for this image.

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