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 Georges Chavignaud  (1865 - 1944)

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Lived/Active: Ontario / Canada/France      Known for: town-landscape, portrait, figure, marine and genre painting, teaching

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Georges Chavignaud
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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Georges Chavignaud OSA, ALCT, CSPWC (1865 – 1944)

A painter and educator, Georges (George) Chavignaud was born in Lanveoc (Brittany), France and died in Meadowvale (Greater Toronto), Ontario. He was a Principal of the Victoria School of Art & Design, a member of the Ontario Society of Artists*, a frequent exhibitor with the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts*, and his works are in several Canadian museums including the National Gallery of Canada. (1)

Chavignaud’s primary mediums were watercolors and oils. His subjects included landscapes, portraits, figures, village scenes, marine scenes, windmills and genre. His painting locations included Belgium, Holland, France, Ontario, Quebec (Ile d'Orleans), Prince Edward Island, and Nova Scotia. His styles were Realism* and Barbizon School* influenced Impressionism*. AskART images have some good illustrations of his oeuvre.

His education includes the College Charlemagne, Paris; the Academie Royale des Beaux-Arts, Brussels (c.1903) under Isidore Verheyden; and studies in Antwerp (c.1904) under Jacob (Jakob) Smits. Chavignaud was Principal of the Victoria School of Art & Design [now Nova Scotia College of Art and Design], Halifax from 1912 to 1916. (2)

He was a member of the Ontario Society of Artists* (1900 – 1917); the Arts and Letters Club, Toronto (1909 – 1917); and the Canadian Society of Painters in Watercolour* (1926 – 1934).

He exhibited with the Toronto Industrial Exhibition [later renamed Canadian National Exhibition] (1897 – 1901); Royal Canadian Academy of Arts* (1898 – 1918); Ontario Society of Artists* (1901 – 1917); Art Association of Montreal* (1903 – 1931); Society of Watercolor Painters of Belgium (1903); Canadian National Exhibition, Toronto (1903 – 1934); Brussels Triennial Salon, Belgium (c.1903); Salon d'Automne*, Paris (1904); “Louisiana Purchase Exposition*”, St. Louis, Missouri (1904); and the Canadian Society of Painters in Watercolour* (1926 – 1931). Posthumously, his works were included in “Fifteen Paintings by Eight Past Principals”, Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, Halifax (1968); “Canadians in Paris, 1867 – 1914”, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto (1979); and in “A Gentler Time: English and Canadian Watercolour Landscapes”, Dalhousie Art Gallery, Halifax, Nova Scotia (1998).

According to the Canadian Heritage Information Network* and individual museum websites, his works are in the permanent collections of the Art Gallery of Hamilton (Ontario), Art Gallery of Nova Scotia (Halifax), Art Gallery of Ontario (Toronto), Dalhousie Art Gallery (Halifax, Nova Scotia), La Pulperie (Chicoutimi, Quebec), Mendel Art Gallery (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan), Museum London (Ontario), Robert McLaughlin Gallery (Oshawa, Ontario), Tom Thomson Memorial Art Gallery (Owen Sound, Ontario), Trent University Art Collection (Peterborough, Ontario), Vancouver Art Gallery (B.C.), and the National Gallery of Canada (Ottawa).
(1) Please note: Chavignaud first arrived in New York in 1882 and moved to Toronto in 1884. His other Toronto area homes were in Meadowvale (1905 – 1909 and c.1929 – 1944), Lambton Mills (1910 – 1912), and Kleinburg (1918 – c.1929); they are all towns within 30 miles of downtown Toronto in a region called the Greater Toronto Area. Sources: Catalogue of the National Gallery of Canada Ottawa: Canadian Art Volume One A – F (1988), general editors Charles C. Hill and Pierre B. Landry (see AskART book references); Early Painters and Engravers in Canada (1970), by J. Russell Harper (see AskART book references); and University of Toronto, Data Library Service.

(2) Please note: All artists mentioned in this biography have records in AskART.
The Last Art College: Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, 1968 – 1978 (2012), by Garry Neill Kennedy (see AskART book references) [not in index, see page 3]

Biographical Index of Artists in Canada (2003), by Evelyn de Rostaing McMann (see AskART book references)

The Collector's Dictionary of Canadian Artists at Auction (2001), by Anthony R. Westbridge and Diana L. Bodnar (see AskART book references)

A Dictionary of Canadian Artists A to F 5th edition (1997), by Colin S. MacDonald (see AskART book references)

Dictionnaire des artistes de langue française en Amérique du Nord... (1992), by David Karel (see AskART book references)

Art and Architecture in Canada (1991), by Loren R. Lerner and Mary F. Williamson (see AskART book references)

Catalogue of the National Gallery of Canada Ottawa: Canadian Art Volume One A – F
(1988), general editors Charles C. Hill and Pierre B. Landry (see AskART book references)

Royal Canadian Academy of Arts: Exhibitions and Members, 1880 – 1979 (1981), by Evelyn de R. McMann (see AskART book references)

Art Gallery of Ontario – The Canadian Collection (1970), by Helen Pepall Bradfield (see AskART book references)

Early Painters and Engravers in Canada (1970), by J. Russell Harper (see AskART book references)

The National Gallery of Canada: Catalogue of Paintings and Sculpture, Volume III (1960), by R.H. Hubbard (see AskART book references)

The National Gallery of Canada Catalogue (1931), by National Gallery of Canada (see AskART book references)

The Fine Arts in Canada (1925), by Newton MacTavish (see AskART book references)

Canadian Men and Women of the Time: A Handbook of Canadian Biography of Living Characters (1912), edited by Henry James Morgan (see AskART book references)

Canadian Heritage Information Network* (Museums)

Centre for Contemporary Canadian Art* (OSA exhibitions)

Arts and Letters Club of Toronto (membership dates)

Art Gallery of Ontario (recent exhibitions)

University of Toronto, Data Library Service (Greater Toronto Area map)

* 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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