| René Richard is primarily known as Rene Jean Richard
from Auction House Records.
ARTIST WITH HIS SLEDDING TEAM
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
|This biography from the Archives of AskART:|
|René Richard was a painter, illustrator, printmaker, and fur
trapper. He was born in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland, and died
in Baie St.Paul, Quebec (75 miles north-east of Quebec City along the
St.Lawrence River). His family emigrated to Montreal, Quebec,
Canada in 1909 and to Cold Lake, Alberta (150 miles north-east of
Edmonton) in 1911. In 1942, he moved to Baie St.Paul, Quebec
where he lived the rest of his life. |
His mediums were
oil*, watercolour, gouache*, charcoal*, chalk*, ink*, crayon*,
graphite*, lithograph*, etching*, silkscreen* and colored
pencil*. His most recognized subjects are landscapes of the
Quebec countryside and northern Canada. He is also known for
portraits and genre scenes of his previous occupation as a trapper
(c.1913 - 1942) in the Canadian north. Good illustrations of this
are AskART image examples Artist with his Sledding Team and Trappers in Forest. His styles were Expressionism*, Fauvism* and Plein Air*, image examples Riverscape, Scene de Campagne and Paysage are good illustrations of his best-known style and subjects.
formal art education began when he was 32 years old. With money
saved from fur trapping he went to Paris for three years
(1927-1930). He studied at Academie la Grande Chaumière* and
Académie Colarossi*. While there he became friends and a lifelong
protégé of Clarence Gagnon (see AskART). He also met and
travelled with Tom Stone (see AskART).
His travels, while
in Europe included other parts of France and Switzerland. In
Canada his trapping expeditions included canoe and dog sled trips
through northern Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec
(1923 - 1936). He canoed down the Mackenzie River to the shores
of the Arctic Ocean, along the Saskatchewan River to Lake Winnipeg and
down the Churchill River to Hudson Bay. His trapping also took
him to the Rocky Mountains near Jasper, Alberta and to James Bay,
Ontario. He travelled to New York City in 1927 on his way to
Paris, and to Louisiana in 1957 with his wife Blanche Cimon and the
author Gabrielle Roy (see below).
Most of his lifetime
exhibitions were at private galleries such as Galerie l'Art Francais,
Montreal (1945, 1946, 1948, 1950, 1952, 1975, 1981), Walter Klinkhoff
Gallery, Montreal (1964), Galerie Morency, Montreal (1964) and many
more. The Museum of Quebec (Quebec City) had solo shows of his
work in 1967 and 1978, and Laval University (Montreal) had one in
1980. He apparently did not join in many group exhibitions.
There is only a period from 1948 to 1950 at the Montreal Museum of Fine
Arts noted by one source (1).
His works are avidly
collected. They are also in many art galleries and museums
including the Art Gallery of Ontario (Toronto), the Montreal Museum of
Fine Arts, the Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art, the Art Gallery of
Nova Scotia (Halifax), the Tom Thomson Memorial Art Gallery (Owen
Sound, Ontario), the Owens Art Gallery (Sackville, New Brunswick), the
Canadian Museum of Civilization (Gatineau, Quebec), the National
Gallery of Canada (Ottawa) and many more. The Museum of Quebec
(Quebec City) has 142 René Richard works in its collection. The
Canadian Heritage Information Network database shows a total of 399
Richard works in public galleries and museums across Canada.
Examples of his illustrations can be seen in the books La Montagne Secrete (The Secret Mountain) (1975 edition), by Gabrielle Roy and Menaud Maitre-Draveur (Menaud Master Driver) (1979 edition), by Felix-Antoine Savard. (2)
honours and awards include one of the countries highest honours,
appointment as a Member of the Order of Canada (CM) in 1973. He
was also elected a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts in
1980, and his painting Along Great Slave Lake was reproduced on
Canadian 30 cent stamps, to commemorate Canada Day in 1982. There
is also a library in Baie St.Paul and streets in Quebec City and Baie
St.Paul named after him.
In 1992 La Musée des Beaux Arts, in his home town La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland had a major exhibition of his work.
(1) Source: The Collector's Dictionary of Canadian Artists at Auction (2001), by Anthony R. Westbridge and Diana L. Bodnar.(see AskART book references)
(2) La Montagne Secrete,
originally written in 1961, is a novel based on René Richard’s life; a
line from the book, "Could we ever know each other in the slightest
without the arts?" is on the Canadian $20.00 bill between two images of
sculptures by Bill Reid (see AskART). Also, both authors were
very important, both were awarded the Order of Canada, Roy CC and
Savard OC, and both books were published several times before the
Richard illustrated editions and several times after. Recent editions
of La Montagne Secrete appear to still have Richard’s cover art. La Montagne Secrete was published in English with the title The Hidden Mountain; Menaud Maitre-Draveur was published in English with the title Boss of the River.
* For more in-depth information about these
terms and others, see AskART.com Glossary
Prepared and contributed by M.D. Silverbrooke
|This biography from the Archives of AskART:|
|Born in 1895 in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland.|
He arrived in Canada in 1909. He took his first lessons in painting and drawing in Edmonton. He went to Paris in France to study painting in 1927. During his stay, he met Clarence Gagnon who encouraged him to dedicate himself to painting.
René Richard came back to Canada in 1930 and start his life of trapping again. He brings back hundreds of drawings from his long trips. He lived in the wood for several years. He settled in Baie-St-Paul in 1942. He exhibited in Québec City and in Montréal several times. René Richard is a painter who like to capture the essence of the present and the power of nature. He passed away in 1981 at the age of 86 years old. He donated many of his works to the University Laval.
At the end of his life, he was elected to the Royal Academy of Arts and in 1973, he received the Order of Canada. Canada Post used one of his work depicting the North-western territories in a series of stamps on Canadian art.
Collections: The National Gallery of Canada, Musée du Québec, and many other public and private collections across Canada.
Galerie d'Art du Château Frontenac
|** If you discover credit omissions or have additional information to add, please let us know at registrar@AskART.com.|