MARC-AURÈLE FORTIN

Canadian artist- ARCA, Associated with the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts

MARC-AURÈLE FORTIN

The painter Marc-Aurèle Fortin was born on March 14, 1888 in Sainte-Rose. This region, which today is Laval, was, at that time, an artistic center where Clarence Gagnon, the Hébert family and Chauvin lived among others.

Despite the strong paternal opposition to a career as an artist, the young Marc-Aurèle Fortin began his studies at the Montreal Catholic Commercial Academy and then at École du Plateau, as Clarence Gagnon had done a few years earlier. At this school he was introduced to drawing by the painter and professor Ludger Larose and he won several first prizes in drawing. He continues his apprenticeship at the National Monument under the direction of Edmond Dyonnet still, Fortin follows in the footsteps of the painter Clarence Gagnon.

At age 19, his father Thomas Fortin, a lawyer and judge at the Superior Court, does not look favorably on the artistic path followed by his son. He then cut off his food and sent him to the west of Canada at Marc-Aurèle's brother's where he was hired by a bank in Edmonton. It is in this city that he began to paint and also holds his first exhibition which receives a warm welcome.

He left the city to complete his artistic studies at the Art Institute of Chicago. He stands out easily and is offered quickly at the age of 21 a post of professor of drawing he refuses to return to Quebec. Thanks to the influence of his father, he won a job that he will retain until 1918. Fortin seeks to create and embody a school of landscape typically Canadian without any European influence. It was then, that he began in 1919, watercolor and led him to paint the trees with watercolors - sponges.
The painter Clarence Gagnon, mentioned to him this novelty. He believed that Fortin had a genius for trees, which he created in a new way, a genre that no one had done before. In the early 1920s came the watercolors of Ile Ste-Helene, rural and Laurentian landscapes. Subsequently, the appearance of large elms on works in oil.

Marc-Aurèle Fortin said he "saw nature as he paints it, our autumns are the most colorful in the world." Unlike other artists who brought back pochades of observation of nature, Fortin painted small watercolors to bring them back to the workshop to create the oils.

Since then, the cinema still attracts the artist, but it is in 1953 after the death of his mother that he starts the project of a cartoon that never saw the light of day. In the 30s, encouraged by his friend painter Adrien Hébert, he creates etchings and dry point

He left for Europe for a 6-month study and observation trip that he took to France in Paris, Villefranche and Rouen among others. Always experimenting, Marc-Aurèle Fortin develops the black way of painting the entire surface in black and adding the colors so that the shape is created. Follows in the gray way

In 1940, the painter Fortin concluded an agreement with the French art gallery which gave him exclusivity.Fortin returns to Gaspésie and paints many landscapes. The casein appeared in the work of the artist from 1949.Following a not very happy marriage, Fortin weakened by diabetes hires Mr. Archambeault who is not a wise choice. The latter will defraud the artist by selling at a derisory price the works of the painter without his knowledge. Thanks to Mr. René Buisson, Marc-Aurèle Fortin, become completely blind, is installed in the sanatorium of Macamic in Abitibi where he died in 1970.

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