Clarence Gagnon

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Clarence Gagnon
Bust of Clarence Gagnon in Quebec City.
Born Clarence Gagnon
(1881-11-08)November 8, 1881
Near Montreal, Quebec
Died January 5, 1942(1942-01-05) (aged 60)
Nationality Canadian
Known for painting
Movement Modernity

Clarence Gagnon (8 November 1881 – 5 January 1942) was a Canadian painter from the province of Quebec.

Born near Montreal, he studied at the Art Association of Montreal in 1897.[1] Early in life, his mother had encouraged him to learn drawing and painting, but his father wanted him to become a businessman.

Desiring to improve his knowledge about art, he went to the Académie Julian in Paris, and studied under Jean-Paul Laurens from 1904 to 1905. Before returning to Canada in 1909, Gagnon spent time painting in France and Italy.[2]

He then lived in Baie-Saint-Paul, where he produced many paintings depicting nature and the Canadian people. He invented a new kind of winter landscape that consisted of mountains, valleys, sharp contrasts, vivid colours, and sinuous lines. He became a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts in 1922.[3]

Gagnon took trips to Venice, Rouen, Saint-Malo and the Laurentians in Quebec to paint landscapes. He illustrated the pages of the novel Maria Chapdelaine by Louis Hémon. As well, he was the illustrator for Louis-Frédéric Rouquette in 1929 in Le Grand silence blanc. He lived in France from 1924 to 1936.

Gagnon advanced modernist painting within Canada. He died in 1942. One of his disciples was the painter René Richard. Gagnon's works were exhibited at Gallery L'Art français.[4]

A bust has been erected in his memory by the Galerie Clarence Gagnon in Quebec City.


  1. ^ "Clarence Gagnon". Retrieved October 3, 2013. 
  2. ^ Reid, Dennis (1973). A Concise History of Canadian Painting. Toronto: Oxford University Press. p. 127. ISBN 0195402065. 
  3. ^ "Members since 1880". Royal Canadian Academy of Arts. Retrieved 11 September 2013. 
  4. ^ "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 (...) Clarence Gagnon"

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