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 was at that time, an artistic center where other famous painters as Clarence Gagnon and Adrien Hebert lived among others.

Despite the strong paternal opposition to a career as an artist, the young Marc-Aurele Fortin began his studies at the Montreal Catholic Commercial Academy and continue at  "Ecole du Plateau", as Clarence Gagnon had done a few years earlier. 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.

He then move to United States to complete his studies at the Art Institute of Chicago. He stands out easily and is offered quickly at the age of 21 a position of professor of drawing. Fortin refuses this offer to return to Quebec. 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 - the sponges manner.
The painter Clarence Gagnon 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.

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.

In 1940, the painter Fortin concluded an agreement with the French art gallery which gave him exclusivity. Fortin returns to Gaspesie 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. Marc-Aurèle Fortin, become completely blind, is installed in the sanatorium of Macamic in Abitibi where he died in 1970.

Marc-Aurele Fortin participated in several exhibitions and held solo exhibitions at the Musee du Québec (1944), in Netherlands (1948), at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (1954), and at the National Gallery of Canada (1963). He won the Jessie Dow prize from the Art Association of Montreal (1938), a bronze medal at the New York World's Fair (1939), and was an Associate of the Royal Canadian Academy.

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