« Ses thèmes reflètent bien sa croyance en l'unité de la nature et de l'art. Les paysages urbains, comme ceux de la campagne, relèvent un sens du temps et de l’espace. » The Canadian Encyclopedia

Born in Spy, Belgium in 1907, Henri Masson came to Canada in 1921 and two years later began to study at the Ottawa Art Association. From 1923 to 1945, Masson worked as an engraver and began working as a full time painter in 1945.


The Canadian Encyclopedia profiles Masson: "largely self taught, Masson combined his narrative abilities with a fluid Group of Seven style. He lived in Ottawa from 1921 and began exhibiting nationally in 1938 and internationally in 1946. His themes reflect his belief in the unity of nature and art. Cityscapes and landscapes reveal a sense of place and time. Still lifes and paintings of monks and choirboys, musicians, children and a great variety of commonplace activities deal with subjects that he considered to convey the essence of life. Masson used a loose, vigorous brush style in many media. His best works are full of detail and movement, with a broad range of colour, and convey a sense of immediacy to the viewer."(1)


In 1972, Masson proudly had a painting reproduced by UNICEF. Two years later, Masson's painting Skaters in Hull was reproduced on a Canadian 8 cent postage stamp in an edition of 105 million. In 1975, Masson was the subject of "Portrait," a one hour radio interview on CBC.


Masson was a member of the Canadian Group of Painters, Canadian Society of Painters in Water Colours, Canadian Society of Graphic Arts and the Ontario Society of Artists. In 1955, Masson received an LL.D. from Assumption College in Windsor, Ontario.


Solo Exhibitions:
1938 Picture Loan Society, Toronto

1939 Le Caveau, Ottawa

1941 L'Art Français, Montreal

1942 Contempo Studios, Ottawa

1943 Laing Art Gallery, Toronto

1945 Eaton's College Art Gallery, Toronto

1946 Robertson Galleries, Ottawa

1952 L'Atelier, Quebec City

1964 Walter Klinkhoff Gallery, Montreal

1967 Art Lenders, Montreal

1968 L'Art Français, Montreal

1971 L'Art Français, Montreal

n.d. Walter Klinkhoff Gallery, Montreal

n.d. Wallack's Gallery, Ottawa

n.d. Art Emporium, Vancouver

n.d. Gallery of Canadian Art, Calgary


Group Exhibitions:

1944 International Water Colour Exhibition, Brooklyn

1945-46 Biennale, Rio de Janeiro

1947 Six Canadian Painters, West Palm Beach, Florida

1950 Canadian Painting, National Gallery of Arts, Washington, D.C.

1951 Biennale, Sao Paulo

1953 Colombo International Exhibition of Modern Art, New Delhi

1970 Quebec Pavilion, World Fair, Osaka, Japan

n.d. London Art Museum (with Harold Town)

n.d. World Fair's, New York

n.d. UNESCO, Paris

n.d. "Aspects of Contemporary Painting in Canada," Andover, Massachusetts



1948 Children's classes, National Gallery of Canada, Elmwood School, Ashbury College and Summer School

n.d. Queen's University, Kingston, until 1952

1954 Banff School of Fine Arts

1960-63 Doon School of Fine Arts (summer)





Read more