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Fernand Labelle

 (born 1934)
Fernand Labelle is active/lives in Quebec, Ontario / Canada, Europe.  Fernand Labelle is known for landscape, mountain and water scene painting, book illustration.

Fernand Labelle

Biography from the Archives of askART

Fernand Labelle B.Soc.Sc. (1934)

A popular Canadian painter and illustrator, Fernand Labelle was born in Cornwall, Ontario and currently (2016) lives in Montreal, Quebec, where he has resided for several decades. He moved from Cornwall to the province of Quebec in 1968. He has also lived and worked in Quebec City (in the suburb named Sillery) and in Ottawa, Ontario. His paintings are in the collections of several Quebec museums. He has illustrated four books. (1)

Labelle’s primary medium is oil paint. His primary subjects are landscapes, seascapes, snow scenes, forests, lakes and rivers. Most of the locations appear to be in rural Quebec, however, some of the inscriptions note “Ottawa”, which is just across the Ottawa River from Quebec. His style is frequently described as Impressionism*, although many works could be described as Fauvism* or Modernism*. AskART has excellent illustrations of his oeuvre.

He is a self taught artist. His formal education is in politics, economics and contemporary French literature. He graduated from the University of Ottawa with Bachelor in Social Sciences degree (1950 – 1956); he also studied at the Sorbonne, Paris (1956 – 1958); the University of Montreal (1962); and at the Ontario Institute of Education, University of Toronto (c.1962). He left a teaching career to paint full time, and has been exhibiting professionally since 1963.

Labelle’s works have been exhibited in prominent Canadian commercial galleries such as Galerie d'Art Le Bourget, Montreal; Gallery 2000, Montreal; Galerie d’art Royale, Quebec City; Galerie d’art Beauchamp et Beauchamp, Quebec City; and Stephen Lowe Art Gallery, Calgary. He has also exhibited in the United States, France, Belgium, Germany, Australia and Monaco. He was the subject of a solo show at the Musee Louis-Hemon, Péribonka, Quebec in 1996.

According to the Canadian Heritage Information Network*, Labelle’s works are in the permanent collections of the Centre Culturel de Verdun (Montreal), the Musée Bruck (Cowansville, Québec), the Musee de la Civilisation (Quebec City), the Musée Pierre-Boucher (Trois-Rivières, Quebec), and the Musée Régional de Vaudreuil-Soulanges (Vaudreuil-Dorion, Quebec).

Labelle illustrated the books À la recherche du pays de Félix Leclerc; Pour l'amour de Van Gogh; Maria Chapdelaine (1994 edition); and Le Printemps (see sources below for details).
(1) Please note the relatively short distances: Montreal and Ottawa are each within a 1 hour drive of Cornwall. Cornwall is about 60 miles west of Montreal and 60 miles southeast of Ottawa. Ottawa is about 120 miles northwest of Montreal. Quebec City is about 160 miles northeast of Montreal. Source: Google Maps
The Collector's Dictionary of Canadian Artists at Auction (2001), by Anthony R. Westbridge and Diana L. Bodnar (see askART Publications)

Magazin’art: Biennial Guide to Canadian Artists in Galleries, 2000 – 2001 (2000), edited by Lise Goulet and Jean-Guy Thibault; published by Editart International Ltd. Montreal

Le Printemps (1995), by Gilles Vigneault and Fernand Labelle; Éditions Au fil du temps, Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue

Maria Chapdelaine (1994), by Louis Hemon, illustrated by Fernand Labelle; Fides, Saint-Laurent, Québec

Pour l'amour de Van Gogh (1990), by Fernand Labelle and Marcel Brouillard; Éditions du Trécarré, Saint-Laurent, Québec

À la recherche du pays de Félix Leclerc (1989), by Claude Jasmin, Marcel Brouillard and Fernand Labelle; Publications Transcontinental, Montréal 

Paysages (1981), by Fernand Labelle and Guy Robert; Editions R. Hébert, Sillery, Québec

A Dictionary of Canadian Artists, Volume Three, Jacobi – Lismer (1975), by Colin S. MacDonald; Canadian Paperbacks Publishing Limited, Ottawa, Ontario

Canadian Heritage Information Network*

Bibliothèque nationale de Québec (archives)

Guy Le Bourget, Galerie d'Art Le Bourget, Montreal (phone conversation May 6, 2016 to confirm artist’s current residence)

University of Ottawa Alumni Association (phone conversation May 5, 2016 to confirm degree)

* For more in-depth information about these terms and others, see Glossary

Written and contributed by M.D. Silverbrooke.

** If you discover credit omissions or have additional information to add, please let us know at

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Photo courtesy of Galerie d'art Josette Tilmant, St-Sauveur, Quebec

About  Fernand Labelle

Born:  1934 - Cornwell, Ontario, Canada
Known for:  landscape, mountain and water scene painting, book illustration