In 1948 and 1951, the painter undertook two expeditions in the Far North of Quebec. This trip are very different from those undertaken in the 1920s and 1930s when Richard was to ensure his livelihood through hatchery and fishing. During the two expeditions in Ungava, he was accompanied by biologists Duncan Hodgson (1948) and Jacques Rousseau (1951). Although these trips in the Nordic region do not have the same objectives like in the past, they remain an opportunity for Richard to reconnect with his past and thereby renew his imagery of the North.
In his 1951 travel diary, Rene Richard recounts his impressions of his arrival on the banks of the George River: "We are now at the gates of the George River. [...] I am delighted to see the place here with the mountain opposite the gate separated by the inlets. [...] the mountains are wonderful. Ah! as I look forward to arriving and also to leave here to lead this beautiful life of adventurer it reminds me all those beautiful moments spent in the North''1.
During the 1950s, Richard built a Ungava-themed pictures bank that he put on paper in his travel diary. It will be then very valuable for the creation of works in the following decade, because it contains not only sketches preparatory to oil works, but also his impressions and valuable descriptions of the colors to use.
At the exhibitions in which he participated during this period, notably at the Galerie l'Art Français, René Richard managed to carve out a place of choice within the Quebec artistic sphere. The compositions with the motif of the voyageur and his canoe, as well as Scene of the George River, circa 1951, are among the body of work that has helped to confirm Richard's reputation as a painter of the Great North.
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René Richard (1895 - 1982)
Cosner Art Gallery - Montreal
Oil on panel
Canadian landscape painter
44 cm x 52 cm / 17'' x 20,5''
Signed lower right