Lot 7


oil on board
7 ins x 9 ins; 17.8 cms x 22.9 cms

Private Collection, Montreal

François-Marc Gagnon and Michèle Grandbois, in Marc-Aurèle Fortin: The Experience of Colour, (catalogue), Michèle Grandbois (ed.), Musée national des Beaux-arts du Québec and Les Éditions de L’Homme, Quebec, 2011, pages 110, 122 and 163.

While Marc-Aurèle Fortin (1888-1970) enjoyed painting the majestic elm trees found throughout his beloved childhood hometown of Ste-Rose, he also regularly captured the Hochelaga region of Montreal. In fact, his depictions of this working class, French-speaking neighbourhood in the early stages of urbanization earned him considerable national and international attention
. Étude Hochelaga illustrates this changing landscape using a geometric and colour blocking style developed through Fortin’s experimentation with paint during the 1930s. The city is rendered in contrasting colours against a dark brown ground, giving a shadowed effect to the entire scene. The thick black outline that separates the forms works to focus, highlight and ultimately liberate the bright, highly saturated colours of the buildings. The boxy geometric pattern of the urban landscape, further emphasized by the squared and stylized clouds in the distance, is perhaps Fortin’s comment on the increasing industrialization and automatization of the modern city.

The work is included in the catalogue raisonné for Marc-Aurèle Fortin as no. H-1029.

Estimate: $15,000–20,000

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