Glorious Cemetery is illustrated in the Refus global. The composition's construction, with objects detached from a background that recedes into infinity, makes it a classic example of Borduas' Automatisme. Inspired by Surrealism and André Breton's concept of automatic writing, Borduas approached his work with no preconceived idea and painted instinctively. Since the slow drying properties of oil paint hindered his impulse towards spontaneity, he would start by painting the background and, after it dried, applied more distinct patches of colour, which appear to be floating in space.
© Estate of Paul-Émile Borduas / SOCAN (2021)