RCA (Royal Canadian Academy)
Canadian Grand Master, self-taught, René Richard was born in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland in 1895 (death in 1982). He came to sttle down in Alberta in 1909, he chooses to live with the Cree Indians and the Inuits of Canada's North and it is in the solitude of the great outdoors that hebecomes an artist. In 1927, he decided to study painting in Paris, where he met the Canadian painter Clarence Gagnon. Returned to the country in 1930, he resumed his trapper's life in Manitoba and it is finally in Baie St-Paul, in 1942, that he found his home base and wife Blanche Cimon. He exhibits regularly in Quebec City and Montreal but returns in 1952 on an expedition to the North. He spends the next thirty years of his life in Baie St-Paul.
Until the end of his life he painted it bright and colorful landscapes, always related to the Canadian landscape. Whatever the anonymity of trees and those who travel the long tracks of the North, what the painter expresses eloquently is the very soul of the Canadian vastness: silence and solitude. It is there that he reveals visions on the edge of abstraction, to meet the universal.
".. His personal and solitary approach has no need for comparison or justification. It is unique and does not fit into the wake nor the avant-garde nor romantic nostalgia. René Richard developed his own pictorial language, his painting asserts itself in a personal aestheticism whose primary source is nature..And even if the artist had completely eliminated the identifiable elements of his paintings, the spirit that emanates from the pictorial matter would not have been affected so much its expression is intense .. It is revealed in the slightest touch, the slightest line, because everything transpires this wilderness, austere and beautiful .. The invoice is not neat, it is true, intuitive, as wild about it, pure and by no means accomodating. The landscape is brushed spontaneously, like a lover momentum. The color does not seek to seduce but to translate. The landscape is registered with the support by wide strokes that only the passion can induce. Every gesture of the painter carries with it the essence of the place " Robert Bernier.
He went alongside with artists like Gagnon, Fortin, Lemieux, Rousseau and its influence on Quebec painting is considerable. In 1973, he received the Order of Canada and in 1980 he became a member of the Royal Academy of Arts of Canada. Retrospectives are dedicated to him in 1967 at the Musée du Québec and in 1978 by the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec. In 1982 one of his paintings is reproduced on a postage stamp for Canada Day
These works of art are among several large museum collections, private and public, such as: Contemporary Art Museum of Montreal, Quebec Museum, University of Ottawa, Mouvement des caisses populaires Desjardins du Québec, etc.