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.
Encampement du trappeur, 1981 Dessin à la plume 12 1/4 x 13 3/4 in
31.1 x 34.9 cm CAD 3,200.00
Fin de journée, 1967 Felt pen on paper - Crayon feutre sur papier 11 x 12 3/4 in
27.9 x 32.4 cm CAD 1,450.00
Gros arbres, 1967 Felt pen on paper - Crayon feutre sur papier 13 x 10 1/2 in
33 x 26.7 cm CAD 700.00
Le repas du soir, 1967 Felt pen on paper - Feutre sur papier 11 1/2 x 13 in
29.2 x 33 cm CAD 1,450.00
Paysage (Baie Saint-Paul), 1955 Oil on board - Huile sur panneau 12 x 14 in
30.5 x 35.6 cm $4,000
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 CAD 2,000.00
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 CAD 1,450.00
Untitled (Dessin 2), 1943 Dry medium on paper (probably charcoal) - Technique sèche sur papier (probablement du fusain) CAD 2,250.00
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 CAD 2,350.00
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 CAD 1,800.00
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 CAD 1,450.00
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 CAD 1,450.00
Campement Indien, 1931 (circa) Ink on paper - Encre sur papier 11 1/2 x 13 1/2 in
29.2 x 34.3 cm CAD 1,850.00
Bois brûlé, Grand-nord Oil on panel - Huile sur panneau 16 x 20 in
40.6 x 50.8 cm $6,500
Solitude. Grand Nord Canadien Charcoal drawing on paper - Dessin au fusain sur papier 15 3/4 x 18 in
40 x 45.7 cm CAD 1,250.00
Trappeurs dans le Nord Dessin au crayon sur papier 7 1/2 x 19 1/2 in
19.1 x 49.5 cm CAD 2,500