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Jean Paul Riopelle

Midnight Sun (Quartet in White)


Jean Paul Riopelle
Montreal 1923 – L'Isle-aux-Grues, Quebec, 2002


Midnight Sun (Quartet in White)




Oil on canvas


97 x 146 cm (each element)


Purchase, with a special grant from the Government of Quebec, inv. 2001.164.1-4


Quebec and Canadian Art

This remarkable work belongs to the "Iceberg" series, which is made up of some thirty pieces inspired by a trip to Baffin Island. Here Riopelle, a master in the use of colour, almost exclusively uses black and white. "You can be sure," he said, "that if I had gone sailing in the Mediterranean I wouldn't have come back with these paintings. But nothing is clear-cut in the Arctic. Everything's not black and white. The sky, on the other hand, seems black, truly black. If I painted a sky black like that, nobody would believe me. And what's on the ground isn't even snow, white snow, but grey ice that is also transparent."

© Estate of Jean Paul Riopelle / SOCAN (2023)

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