Alfred Laliberté

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This article is about the Canadian sculptor and painter. For the Canadian pianist and composer, see Alfred La Liberté.

Alfred Laliberté (19 May 1878 - 13 January 1953) was a Canadian sculptor and painter based in Montreal. His output includes more than 900 sculptures in bronze, marble, wood, and plaster. Many of his sculptures depict national figures and events in Canada and France such as Louis Hebert, François-Xavier-Antoine Labelle, Adam Dollard des Ormeaux, and the Lower Canada Rebellion. Although he produced hundreds of paintings as well, he is chiefly remembered for his work as a sculptor.

Life and career[edit]

Born in Sainte-Élisabeth-de-Warwick, Quebec in the district of Arthabaska, Laliberté was the son of Joseph Laliberté, a farmer, and Marie Richard. From an early age he began learning the agricultural trade and he initially intended on working in the family business. He began sculpting as a hobby at the age of 15. His work drew the attention of the Honourable Wilfrid Laurier who encouraged him to enter the Conseil des arts et manufactures (CAM) in Montreal. It was largely through Laurier's attention that Laliberté earned his father's approval to enter the CAM in 1896. In 1888 he won first prize at the Québec City Provincial Exhibition for his life size sculpture of Laurier.

In 1902 Laliberté entered the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris at the age of 23. While there he became friends with his compatriot, the painter Marc-Aurèle de Foy Suzor-Coté. He returned to Canada in 1907 where he began producing works that showed a marked influence of the sculptor Auguste Rodin.

In 1922 Laliberté joined the faculty of the École des Beaux-Arts de Montréal (now a part of the Université du Québec à Montréal). Alfred Laliberté cofounded the Sculptors Society of Canada in 1928 with Frances Loring, Florence Wyle, Elizabeth Wyn Wood, Wood's teacher and husband Emanuel Hahn and Henri Hébert. He was made a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts.[1]

Between 1928 and 1932 he produced 215 small bronze sculptures depicting legends, customs and rural activities of the past and present history of the pioneers of Canada. On June 22, 1940, he married Jeanne Lavallee. He died in Montreal in 1953 and is buried in the Notre Dame des Neiges Cemetery. He wrote three manuscripts about his life and works, Mes mémoires, Réflexions sur l'art et l'artiste, and Les artistes de mon temps, all of which were published together in 1978 under the title Mes souvenirs. Gallery L'Art français exhibited his works[2]

Works[edit]

Title/Subject Public Office Artist Date Painted/Created Medium
Robert Borden Prime Minister Alfred Laliberté 1915 Marble
Adam Dollard des Ormeaux colonist and soldier in Ville Marie, New France Alfred Laliberté 1923 (circa 1911-1915) Bronze

Works[edit]

Sources[edit]

  1. ^ "Members since 1880". Royal Canadian Academy of Arts. Archived from the original on May 26, 2011. Retrieved 11 September 2013. 
  2. ^ "L'Art Français in Montreal", Gallery Profile, in Le Collectionneur, Vol.1, n°2, 1978, "L'Art français also sold the paintings of more "classical" painters such as (...) Alfred Laliberte"