Inscriptionssigned, 'M.A. Fortin' (lower left); titled, inscribed and signed, 'rue Couillard / rue à Quebec/ M.A. Fortin' (verso, centre)
M. René Buisson, executor of the estate of Marc-Aurèle Fortin, acquired from the artist;
Estate of M. Gilles Huot.
Walker’s Auctions, Ottawa.
Private collection, Toronto.
Presiding over this composition is the most explosive and powerful cloud filled sky. From behind the artist, extraordinarily, sunlight illuminates the building and clouds.
The painting has been anecdotally titled “Rue Couillard, Vieux Quebec”, a title which does hold up well. Compositionally it is of the type Fortin was painting rather uniquely in Quebec City’s oldest residential area, in the mid-1940s. From a walkabout the neighbourhood, one might hypothesize this to be composed from outside the FX Garneau House at Rue Couillard at Saint Flavien and not far from the home where musician Calixa Lavallee had lived when he composed the music for what became Canada’s national anthem.
1. Marc-Aurèle Fortin and Michelle Grandbois, Marc-Aurèle Fortin : the experience of colour (Québec: Musée National Des Beaux-Arts Du Québec, 2011), 174