Old mill at La Malbaie
The 1960s was the last in the life of painter Marc-Aurèle Fortin. It was also during these same years that the artist was finally recognized both by critics and by museum institutions. This recognition is the result of several joint efforts by collectors Jean-Pierre Bonneville and René Buisson who were actively involved in the organization of exhibitions and the publication of articles.
Since the 1920s, Marc-Aurèle Fortin has defended and described his art as nationalist. This definition will have a real echo in Quebec, only in the context of the 1960s when a nationalist revival is born. Pierre Bourgeault, then leader of the French-speaking nationalist movement, wrote an article following Fortin's 1961 exhibition at the Galerie l'Art Français. His writings speak of Fortin as the painter of his country and depicts him as the emblem of the Quebec man. In full modern cultural ferment, Quebec no longer shuns the traditional side of their culture. This is how Fortin's imagery is part of the promotion of the Quebec terroir in the same way as the famous singers or authors praising the pioneers, lumberjacks and builders of the beautiful province.
Art critics will agree to "place" Fortin as an outstanding artist of the 20th century. Dorothy Pfeiffer would write in The Gazette in December 1961 "[…] Fortin's work has been ignored for too long by some of his colleagues and countrymen for whom anything but non-figurative art was apparently regarded as superfluous, or old fashioned." - taken from the book Marc-Aurèle Fortin, The experience of color, the chapter on critical reception, page 207.
Marc-Aurèle Fortin (1888 - 1970)
Old mill at La Malbaie , c. 1962
Cosner Art Gallery - Montreal
Post-War Canadian art
55,8 x 71,2 cm | 22'' x 28''
Dimensions with frame
82,55 x 96,5 cm | 32,5'' x 38''
Signed lower left