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Marc-Aurele Fortin (1888-1970) - Biography

   Marc-Aurele Fortin was born in Ste-Rose, Quebec, once a suburban village north of Montreal, and for his entire life, he was devoted to landscape painting that celebrated the beauty of nature. Even when depicting the Quebec ports and suburbs of Montreal, he focused on the bucolic aspects of the regions not yet enroached by modern urbanism. He honoured nature's beauty through his unique style and personal vision of colour and form.

   Fortin studied the rudiments of painting with Ludger LaRose and Edmond Dyonnet from 1904-08, when he left for Edmonton, Alberta, to work in a bank from 1908-1910. Before returning to Montreal in 1912, he studied at the Art Institute of Chicago, and made trips to New York and Boston. He exhibited his work in Chicago in 1929 and the next year had a show in Pretoria, South Africa. In 1935, he travelled to the south of France and to northern Italy.

   Subsequent to his 1935 trip to Europe, Fortin began to experiment with "black manner", whereby he covered the entire surface of the canvas or board with black enamel. Once it was dry, he deposited colour directly from the tube and then extended these applications with a brush, achieving an intense luminosity and brilliance of colour.

   Fortin is best known as a landscape artist who depicted various regions of his native Quebec with considerable originality by using new techniques. After becoming seriously ill in the late 1950's, he stopped painting. He died in Macamic, Quebec in 1970.Several of his paintings are in the National Gallery of Canada. He remains a National Treasure.

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Mich Barnes - Redkettle Art and Collectibles - Victoria, BC Canada Phone: (778) 351-3133 E-mail: collections@redkettle.com