MARC-AURÈLE FORTIN, A.R.C.A.
BARQUES SUR LA PLAGE, PERCÉ
coloured chalks on illustration board
24.25 ins x 18.5 ins; 61.6 cms x 47 cms
Marc-Aurèle Fortin (1888-1970) studied art at the Art Institute of Chicago in the early 1900s. He returned to Canada, Richard Foisy writes, inspired by the American artists who were “trying to create a national American art”. This idea of a national language would come to dominate much of Fortin’s work, and he sought to express through painting what it meant to be French Canadian separate and apart from any European aesthetic influence. This lifelong interest in the Quebec landscape, and a desire to escape the heat of the city, took him along the coast to the Gaspé Peninsula. Fishing boats, stormy seas and shipwrecks emerged as new subject matter in his work from this period, and Barques Sur La Plage, Percé is a ready example of his time exploring the fishing villages of the region.
Fortin returned to favourite themes like this one throughout his career, but continually experimented with media, alternating between oil, watercolour and ink repeatedly. In this lot, Fortin has elected to render the subject in coloured chalks, a medium that allows little room for error, a steady hand and a certain decisiveness.
This work is included in the catalogue raisonné for Marc-Aurèle Fortin as no. P-0064.
Richard Foisy, “Portrait of a Life”, and Esther Trépanier, “The Critical Reception of Marc-Aurèle Fortin” in Marc-Aurèle Fortin: The Experience of Colour, Michèle Grandbois (ed.), Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec and Les Éditions de L’Homme, Quebec, 2011, pages 26, 43, 56, and 211.
Private Collection, Montreal