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Marc-Aurèle Fortin



Marc-Aurèle Fortin
Sainte-Rose, Quebec, 1888 – Macamic, Quebec, 1970




About 1938


Oil on panel


110.7 x 120.8 cm


Gift of Marthe Parent-Phelan in memory of her daughter Magdeleine Bienvenu (1960-2017), inv. 2017.56


Quebec and Canadian Art

In the latter half of the 1930s Fortin began painting his landscapes over either a black or a grey ground, depending on the effect he was trying to achieve. A grey ground, he believed, was better suited to capturing the light peculiar to Quebec. “I paint on a grey ground to capture the warm atmosphere of Quebec’s skies,” he explained. “Using the grey manner, I go back several times when it’s completely dry, to rework the light effects a bit, and the colour, but with the black ground I don’t rework. It’s not quite the same. You can’t understand unless I do it in front of you, it’s impossible. I invented these combinations myself.”

In the artist’s opinion, this picture was one of his finest: “I regard this painting as one of the three that have afforded me the greatest satisfaction in life,” he said. “It’s the most beautiful landscape of Saint-Siméon that I ever made. The technique is marvellous.”

© Fondation Marc-Aurèle Fortin / SOCAN (2023)

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