Lot Sale Results

Clarence Alphonse Gagnon

Clarence Alphonse Gagnon

Clarence Alphonse Gagnon
Canadian, Impressionist & Modern Art Live auction

Lot # 125

Clarence Alphonse Gagnon
CAC RCA 1881 - 1942 Canadian

Jour de boucherie
gouache on paper
stamped Atelier Gagnon and on verso titled on the inventory and exhibition labels and certified by Walter Klinkhoff on the Gagnon inventory label #1009
5 x 5 1/8 in  12.7 x 13cm

By descent to the present Private Collection, Calgary

Louis Hémon, Maria Chapdelaine, 1933, the related illustration from this drawing reproduced page 95
Hélène Sicotte and Michèle Grandbois, Clarence Gagnon, 1881 - 1942: Dreaming the Landscape, Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, 2006, page 207

Glenbow Museum, Calgary, 20th Century Art from the Permanent Collection, May 25 - November 18, 1991

Both Jour de boucherie and Trapper (lot 126 in this sale) are studies for Clarence Gagnon’s illustrations for Louis Hémon’s book Maria Chapdelaine, published in 1933 by Éditions Mornay. Hémon, a French writer, traveled to rural Quebec to gather ideas for a novel. He supported himself by working on a farm and, distilling various stories from area residents, wrote a romantic novel set in the Quebec village of Péribonka, basing the heroine on a young woman he had met. Completed in 1913, it was a chronicle of the rugged life of early French-Canadian colonists.

In 1928, Éditions Mornay offered the project of producing illustrations for the novel to Gagnon. He was given free rein over the conception and technical production of the images and also retained ownership of the original drawings. Gagnon produced his illustrations using the technique of oil monotype, and they have an exquisite sense of colour. He also executed preparatory drawings for some of the images, such as these two charming works, to establish colour and composition. The project consumed Gagnon exclusively from 1931 until the book’s completion in 1933.

Gagnon had never seen Péribonka, but instead chose to base his images on the Quebec village of Baie-Saint-Paul in the county of Charlevoix, where he had lived from 1912 to 1924, a period in which he went back and forth from France to Quebec (in 1936 he returned to Canada and Baie-Saint-Paul permanently). These illustrations were a loving tribute to the happy days he had spent in the peaceful and harmonious village and its surrounds. In a letter to Dr. Euloge Tremblay, a doctor who had treated him like a son when he lived in the village, he testified that Baie-Saint-Paul had given him a “wealth of unforgettable memories that were invaluable when I did the illustrations for Maria Chapdelaine.”

Estimate: $15,000 ~ $25,000 CAD

Sold For: $16,250.00 CAD (including buyer's premium)

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