"I travelled six hundred miles along the Saint Lawrence, navigating unknown rivers far inland, returning to the Saint Lawrence, fishing come summer, hunting come winter, trading beautiful pelts: of marten, of mink, of fox, of muskrat. I was always drawing, inspired by the wild beauty, so harsh and grandiose in these solitary regions." René RIchard

René Richard was born on December 1, 1895, in Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland.

 

He arrived in Canada with his family in 1909. They lived in Montreal for two years then moved to Cold Lake, Alberta, where his father opened a general store and trading post. Richard developed a liking to the bush life in the Canadian wilderness, so much so that he became a fur trapper. During his expeditions throughout northern Canada he sketched and made drawings while getting to know the land, its inhabitants and their lifestyle.

 

Richard wanted to go to art school, so in 1927 he left for Paris. There, he took lessons at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière and the Académie Colarossi from 1927 to 1930. While in Paris he met the painter Clarence Gagnon, and the two became great friends. Gagnon encouraged Richard to become a full-time artist. In 1930 Richard left France and returned to Alberta, where he resumed his life as a trapper and made hundreds of drawings on craft paper.

 

Between 1938 and 1942, Richard visited the Quebec regions of Île d'Orléans, Gaspé, Charlevoix, Mauricie and Abitibi. In 1942, he married Blanche Cimon and settled permanently in Baie St-Paul, QC where the sceneries reminded him of Switzerland and some parts of the Great Canadian North. He dedicated most of his time to producing art and exhibited regularly in Quebec City and Montreal. In 1952, Richard went on an inspiring expedition in the Ungava region of Northern Quebec.

 

In 1973, Richard received the Order of Canada and became a member of the Royal Canadian Academy in 1980. A retrospective exhibition was held at the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec in 1967 and 1978 and a stamp commemorating Canada Day was made from one of Richard’s works from 1982.


Richard died in Baie St-Paul, Quebec at the age of 86.

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  • <span class=%22title%22>Campement avec chiens<span class=%22title_comma%22>, </span></span><span class=%22year%22>1974</span> Campement avec chiens, 1974
    Graphite on paper - Crayon sur papier
    10 x 12 in
    25.4 x 30.5 cm
  • <span class=%22title%22>Fin de journée<span class=%22title_comma%22>, </span></span><span class=%22year%22>1967</span> Fin de journée, 1967
    Felt pen on paper - Crayon feutre sur papier
    11 x 12 3/4 in
    27.9 x 32.4 cm
  • <span class=%22title%22>Gros arbres<span class=%22title_comma%22>, </span></span><span class=%22year%22>1967</span> Gros arbres, 1967
    Felt pen on paper - Crayon feutre sur papier
    13 x 10 1/2 in
    33 x 26.7 cm
  • <span class=%22title%22>Le repas du soir<span class=%22title_comma%22>, </span></span><span class=%22year%22>1967</span> Le repas du soir, 1967
    Felt pen on paper - Feutre sur papier
    11 1/2 x 13 in
    29.2 x 33 cm
  • <span class=%22title%22>Paysage (Baie Saint-Paul)<span class=%22title_comma%22>, </span></span><span class=%22year%22>1955</span> Paysage (Baie Saint-Paul), 1955
    Oil on board - Huile sur panneau
    12 x 14 in
    30.5 x 35.6 cm
  • <span class=%22title%22>La goélette. Fjord Adluylik, Ungava<span class=%22title_comma%22>, </span></span><span class=%22year%22>1951 (circa)</span> La goélette. Fjord Adluylik, Ungava, 1951 (circa)
    Liquid medium on paper (probably ink) - Technique humide sur papier (probablement de l'encre)
    10 1/2 x 14 in
    26.7 x 35.6 cm
  • <span class=%22title%22>Étude de campement<span class=%22title_comma%22>, </span></span><span class=%22year%22>1951</span> Étude de campement, 1951
    Ink pen on Beaverboard - Dessin au crayon sur aggloméré
    9 3/4 x 12 in
    24.8 x 30.5 cm
  • <span class=%22title%22>Untitled (Dessin 2)<span class=%22title_comma%22>, </span></span><span class=%22year%22>1943</span> Untitled (Dessin 2), 1943
    Dry medium on paper (probably charcoal) - Technique sèche sur papier (probablement du fusain)
  • <span class=%22title%22>Scène Grand-Nord. Canot et camp de trappeur<span class=%22title_comma%22>, </span></span><span class=%22year%22>1941</span> Scène Grand-Nord. Canot et camp de trappeur, 1941
    Dry medium on paper - Technique sèche sur papier
    15 1/4 x 20 1/2 in
    38.7 x 52.1 cm
  • <span class=%22title%22>Rivière Sainte-Anne, Mont-Albert, Gaspésie<span class=%22title_comma%22>, </span></span><span class=%22year%22>1938</span> Rivière Sainte-Anne, Mont-Albert, Gaspésie, 1938
    Charcoal drawing on paper - Dessin au fusain sur papier
    19 1/2 x 16 1/2 in
    49.5 x 41.9 cm
  • <span class=%22title%22>Fort Churchill. La fin du voyage<span class=%22title_comma%22>, </span></span><span class=%22year%22>1933</span> Fort Churchill. La fin du voyage, 1933
    Dry medium on paper - Technique sèche sur papier
    7 1/4 x 7 1/4 in
    18.4 x 18.4 cm
  • <span class=%22title%22>Campement Indien<span class=%22title_comma%22>, </span></span><span class=%22year%22>1932</span> Campement Indien, 1932
    Liquid medium on paper (probably ink) - Technique liquide sur papier (probablement de l’encre)
    11 x 14 1/4 in
    27.9 x 36.2 cm
  • <span class=%22title%22>Campement (les deux canots)<span class=%22title_comma%22>, </span></span><span class=%22year%22>1931 (circa)</span> Campement (les deux canots), 1931 (circa)
    Ink on paper - Encre sur papier
    9 x 10 3/4 in
    22.9 x 27.1 cm
  • <span class=%22title%22>Campement Indien<span class=%22title_comma%22>, </span></span><span class=%22year%22>1931 (circa)</span> Campement Indien, 1931 (circa)
    Ink on paper - Encre sur papier
    11 1/2 x 13 1/2 in
    29.2 x 34.3 cm
  • <span class=%22title%22>Solitude. Grand Nord Canadien</span> Solitude. Grand Nord Canadien
    Charcoal drawing on paper - Dessin au fusain sur papier
    15 3/4 x 18 in
    40 x 45.7 cm