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Clarence Gagnon

Brittany Goose Girl

Artist

Clarence Gagnon
Montreal 1881 – Montreal 1942

Title

Brittany Goose Girl

Date

1908

Materials

Oil on canvas

Dimensions

63.5 x 92 cm

Credits

Gift presented in memory of Amy Wilson Southam Ker (1896-1942) by her children, inv. 1989.54

Collection

Quebec and Canadian Art

After studying at the school of the Art Association of Montreal, Gagnon left for Europe. He attended the studio of Laurens at the Académie Julian, and then took part in the Salon of the Société des artistes français. Although he kept a studio in Paris, as of 1909, Gagnon’s painted work would be associated with the Charlevoix region in Quebec, a sort of unspoiled enclave of Modernism, a bit like the Brittany region of France, which seduced Gauguin and his friends. This work, painted in 1908, is composed of successive planes of horizontal strips of earth in well-articulated hues. The curtain-like decorative effects created by the thin aspen trees produce a sense of depth and, paradoxically, emphasize the painting’s surface. The movement of the geese and their minder reinforces this tension. In 1907, the artist’s palette became lighter and more luminous, as attested to here by the small golden leaves vibrating against the blue sky.

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