René Jean Richard

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René Jean Richard

1895 - 1982
OC RCA

René Richard was born in 1895 in Switzerland. His father was an engraver and his mother came from a family of artists. They moved to Montreal in 1909 and two years later relocated to Cold Lake, Alberta. While still a teenager, Richard began making trips into the bush and became a fur trapper, as well as working in his father’s general store. Richard was drawn to the Canadian wilderness and traveled into it often, sketching the scenery around him. In 1927 he moved to Paris to study art. While there, he met well-known Canadian artist Clarence Gagnon, who became his friend and mentor. Returning to Alberta in 1930, Richard continued his explorations of the Canadian backwoods, sketching landscapes and subjects such as the camps of trappers and prospectors. He settled in Baie-Saint-Paul, Quebec in 1940, where he met and married Blanche Simon. The Musée du Québec held a solo exhibition of his work in 1967 and a retrospective in 1977. In 1973 he received the Order of Canada and in 1980 he became a member of the Royal Canadian Academy. He died in 1982.