CLARENCE ALPHONSE GAGNON
Canadian artist , R.C.A , Art Association of Montreal
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Clarence Gagnon was born in Sainte-Rose November 8th, 1881 and died January 6th, 1942 in Montreal.
He bathes young in the artistic and intellectual world of Sainte-Rose with the Fortin family, the Hebert family (father and son), Jean Chauvin, who will become an art critic and Henri Julien, renowned painter and caricaturist. In 1897, at the age of 16, he studied at the Art Association of Montreal where he will meet William Brymner, which will have a decisive influence on the direction of his career. In 1904, he enrolled at the Académie Julian in Paris and studied with Jean-Paul Laurense. He distinguished himself by the quality of his prints. In 1909, he returned to Quebec and settled in Baie St-Paul. It is in this small village where he find his main source of inspiration.
He lived in this part of the country for almost 30 years, alternating his stay with extended visits to France and Norway. He encouraged many arts and crafts in the Charlevoix region by drawing models to be used to make rugs. Clarence Gagnon is a great promoter of Canadian art during his life.
The success he will experience in his lifetime will allow him to have a great influence in the art world and he used repeatedly to help artists as Horatio Walker, Arthur Lismer and Ann Savage. It supports and launches the career of René Richard.
From 1924 to 1936, he was again in Paris, devoting almost all his time to the realization of fiction illustrations "Maria Chapdelaine" and "The Great White Silence" published in Paris by Maison Mornay. It will produce more than 54 watercolors of exceptional quality.