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 Adrien Hebert  (1890 - 1967)

About: Adrien Hebert
 

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Lived/Active: Quebec / Canada/France      Known for: urban genre and landscape painting, lithographs, fresco

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Ad Code: 3
Adrien Hebert
from Auction House Records.
Stevedores Unloading a Ship, Montreal Harbour
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Adrien Hebert RCA, CGP, AC, BHG, PPC (1890 – 1967)

“Having accepted modern life, it is only logical to embrace modern subjects in art” –  Adrien Hebert (1)

A prominent Canadian painter, printmaker, draftsman, muralist, sculptor and educator, Adrien Hebert was born in Paris, France and died in Montreal, Quebec, where he had lived most of his life. Hebert is best known as a painter of urban genre*, his most well-known paintings are of the city of Montreal, its harbor and its people. He was the subject of a solo exhibition at the National Gallery of Canada, a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts, and his life and works are discussed in many Canadian art history books. Hundreds of his paintings and prints are in the permanent collections of Canadian museums. (2)

His mediums included oil, watercolor, fresco*, crayon, charcoal, pencil, pen & ink, wood engraving*, lithograph*, linocut* and wood carving. His subjects were city streets, cityscapes, harbors, landscapes, boats, trains, industrial sites, interiors, portraits, nudes, figures, genre*, historical events, and allegory*. Most of the urban locations were in Montreal; however there is a considerable body of work depicting locations in France, North Africa, and the environs of Chicoutimi, Quebec. His styles were Impressionism*, Post-Impressionism*, Realism* and Social Realism*. The AskART illustrations of his work are very good. (3)

His formal art education includes studies at the Monument National (AKA: Conseil des Arts et Manufactures), Montreal (c.1904 – 1906) under Joseph Saint-Charles, Edmond Dyonnet, Joseph Franchere and Jobson Paradis (1871 – 1926); the Art Association of Montreal (c. 1907 – 1911) under William Brymner; the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris (c. 1912 – 1914) under Fernand Cormon; and further studies in Paris (c. 1923) under Andre Favory, Charles Jacquemot and Marcel Roche. (4)

Hebert taught at the Monument National (c.1914 – 1917) and later he was employed to give drawing classes, five mornings a week, for over three decades (c.1917 to 1954) by the Catholic School Board of Montreal.

He was a member of the Arts Club of Montreal* (1915) and its President (1938); the Beaver Hall Group* (1920); and the Pen and Pencil Club* (c.1940). He was also a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts* (Associate 1932, Academician 1942) where he was elected a member of its council several times (1923 – 1925, 1930 – 1932, 1935 – 1937, 1945 – 1947) and he exhibited in 28 of their annual exhibitions between 1910 and 1960.

In addition to the above groups, he exhibited frequently at the Art Association of Montreal's Spring Exhibitions from 1909 to 1954 and with the Canadian Group of Painters* in their first two exhibitions in 1933. (5)

His works were also included in “A Century of Canadian Art”, Tate Gallery, London, England (1938); the New York World’s Fair (1939); “Contemporary Art of the Western Hemisphere”, an IBM touring exhibition (1941); “Canadian Art 1760 – 1943”, Yale University Art Gallery (1944); “The Development of Painting in Canada, 1665 – 1945”, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa (1945); “UNESCO Exhibition”, Museum of Modern Art, Paris (1946); “Famous Canadian Paintings: Semi-Centenary Exhibition”, Macdonald College, McGill University, Montreal (1955); “Modern Painting in Canada: Major Movements in Twentieth Century Canadian Art”, Edmonton Art Gallery (now Art Gallery of Alberta) (1978); and in “The Birth of the Modern: Post-Impressionism in Canadian Art, c. 1900-1920”, Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Oshawa, Ontario (2001).

The public venues for Hebert’s solo and retrospective shows include Saint-Sulpice Library, Montreal (1916 and 1923) [1916 was with his brother Henri Hébert]; Cercle Universitaire, Montreal (1919 and 1951); the Beaver Hall Group, Montreal (1921); the Arts Club of Montreal (1931 and 1963); “Adrien Hébert: Thirty Years of his Art 1923 – 1953”, National Gallery of Canada and touring (1971); and the Quebec Museum of Fine Arts, Quebec City (1993).

His paintings were also in solo shows held at Galerie A. Barreiro, Paris (1931); Eaton's, Montreal (1934); and Watson Art Galleries, Montreal (1936).

Hebert’s works are avidly collected in Canada, they are frequently traded on the Canadian auction market, and there are over 300 examples of them in Canadian museum collections.

According to the Canadian Heritage Information Network* and individual museum websites, his works are in the permanent collections of the Art Gallery of Alberta (Edmonton), Art Gallery of Hamilton (Ontario), Art Gallery of Ontario (Toronto), Canadian Museum of Civilization (Gatineau, Quebec), Joliette Art Museum (Quebec), La Pulperie (Chicoutimi, Quebec), Leonard & Bina Ellen Art Gallery (Concordia University, Montreal), McCord Museum of Canadian History (Montreal), McMichael Canadian Art Collection (Kleinburg, Ontario), Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art (Quebec), Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (Quebec), Musee Laurier (Victoriaville, Quebec), Quebec Museum of Fine Arts (Quebec City), Robert McLaughlin Gallery (Oshawa, Ontario), Sherbrooke Museum of Fine Arts (Quebec), and the National Gallery of Canada (Ottawa).

Hebert’s most famous mural is “Jacques Cartier Arriving at Hochelaga, 1535”. It was created by him in 1931 for the Mount Royal Chalet, a public space landmark and tourist attraction on the summit of Mount Royal, which overlooks the city of Montreal. (6)

Among his numerous awards and honors are three Jessie Dow Prizes*; and, posthumously, one of his paintings was presented by the City of Montreal to French President Charles de Gaulle on the occasion of his visit to Expo 67 (1967).
 
Footnotes:
(1) Source: Page 141, Canadian Art: From its Beginnings to 2000 (2002), by Anne Newlands (see AskART book references).
(2) Adrien is the son of sculptor Louis Philippe Hébert and the brother of sculptor Henri Hébert.
(3) He lived in Paris on at least three occasions (1890 – 1894, 1897 – 1902, 1922 – 1923) and visited French West Africa (c.1954) and Spain (c.1959).
(4) Please note: All artists mentioned in this biography and its footnotes, except those with life dates after their name, have their own pages in AskART.
(5) According to Paul Duval (page 16, “Four Decades: The Canadian Group of Painters and Their Contemporaries – 1930 - 1970”), Hebert was a member of the Canadian Group of Painters. However Duval does not say when he joined or how long he was a member. Duval mentions Hebert three times in the book and illustrates his painting Back Gardens, Quebec in color.
(6) Hochelaga is the name of the 16th century Iroquois village located in what is now the city of Montreal. Source: Encyclopedia of Quebec History (website).
 
Sources:
Biographical Index of Artists in Canada (2003), by Evelyn de Rostaing McMann (see AskART book references)
Canadian Art: From its Beginnings to 2000 (2002), by Anne Newlands (see AskART book references)
A National Soul: Canadian Mural Painting, 1860s – 1930s (2002), by Marylin Jean McKay (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)
The Group of Seven: Art for a Nation (1995), by Charles C. Hill (see AskART book references)
Art and Architecture in Canada (1991), by Loren R. Lerner and Mary F. Williamson (see AskART book references)
Printmaking in Québec, 1900 – 1950 (1990), by Denis Martin (see AskART book references)
Catalogue of the National Gallery of Canada Ottawa: Canadian Art Volume Two G – K (1988), general editors Charles C. Hill and Pierre B. Landry (see AskART book references)
Montreal Museum of Fine Arts: Spring Exhibitions 1880 – 1970 (1988), by Evelyn de R. McMann (see AskART book references)
The Canadian Encyclopedia (1985), edited by James H. Marsh (see AskART book references)
Royal Canadian Academy of Arts: Exhibitions and Members, 1880 – 1979 (1981), by Evelyn de R. McMann (see AskART book references)
Passionate Spirits: A History of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts, 1880 – 1980 (1980), by Rebecca Sisler (see AskART book references)
The Macmillan Dictionary of Canadian Biography (1978), edited by W. A. McKay (see AskART book references)
Modern Painting in Canada: Major Movements in Twentieth Century Canadian Art (1978), by Terry Fenton and Karen Wilkin (see AskART book references)
The History of Painting in Canada - Toward a Peoples Art”(1974), by Barry Lord (see AskART book references)
Creative Canada: A Biographical Dictionary of Twentieth Century Creative and Performing Arts (1972), by Helen M. Rodney (see AskART book references)
Four Decades: The Canadian Group of Painters and their contemporaries – 1930 - 1970 (1972), by Paul Duval (see AskART book references)
A Dictionary of Canadian Artists, Volume Two, G – Jackson (1970), by Colin S. MacDonald (see AskART book references)
Great Canadian Painting: A Century of Art (1966), by Elizabeth Kilbourn (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)
Contemporary Art of the Western Hemisphere (1941), by IBM (see AskART book references)
Canadian Heritage Information Network*
Art Gallery of Ontario (catalogue summaries online)
Encyclopedia of Quebec History, Marianopolis College, Montreal (website)
Mount Royal Chalet (website)

* For more in-depth information about these terms and others, see AskART.com. Glossary http://www.askart.com/AskART/lists/Art_Definition.aspx.

Prepared and contributed by M.D. Silverbrooke.
 
 


This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Adrien Hébert likes to paint scenes from ports, streets and landscapes.  He was born in Paris, April 12th, 1890 of Canadian parents.  His father, Philippe Hébert was a sculptor and his mother was Marie Roy, from Montréal.

In 1931, he exhibited several paintings at the Gallery Barreiro in Paris: this group of paintings gives a strong impression of realism of the Port of Montréal.  It is like a infernal vision of a country of iron, of machines, of  cargo boats, of smoke, of a demential activity, a giant yet organized circus, a powerful business.

Other paintings of  Adrien Hébert show a more joyful image of Montréal, like Le Jardin des Soeurs, snow scenes, streets and places.

Source:
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.
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