Quebec Studies

Book Reviews

Quebec Studies (1997), 23, (1), 95–123.


95 Book Reviews Art and Art History AUTOUR D'UNE EXPOSITION: TWO VIEWS... LACROIX, LAURIER ET AL. Ozias Leduc: An Art of Love and Reverie. Montréal/Québec: Montréal Museum of Fine Arts and Musée du Québec, 1996. 318 pp. 1 Ozias Leduc (1864-1955) was one of Canada's most intellectually interest­ ing artists as evidenced by the diversity of his subjects and eclectic style. During his life he was recognized primarily as a muralist and decorator of at least 28 Roman Catholic churches, chapels, and baptisteries in Québec, the Mari­ time provinces, and the New England states. Late in life and in death, he became known as the artist with whom Paul-Émile Borduas had apprenticed, studied, and by whom he had been inspired. The present exhibition catalogue is the largest and most comprehensive to date, and includes 255 works of art representative of his long life and prolific artistic career (161 charcoal and graphite drawings, 89 oil paintings, two medal­ lions, two stained glass windows, and one pastel, comprising 59 landscapes, 47 portraits, twenty illustrations, twelve still life, 21 mythological scenes or religious studies, and 96 preliminary drawings for his murals and church decorations). The catalogue relies heavily on information and visual material from three earlier exhibition catalogues by Jean René Ostiguy (1974), Laurier Lacroix et al. (1978), and Louise Beaudry (1986), and this reviewer's book, La Décoration intérieure de l'église Saint-Hilaire (Québec: Ministère des Affaires culturelles, 1985)—all now out of print—as well as six unpublished M.A. theses and one unpublished Ph.D. the­ sis by Arlene Gehmacher (1995). Further information is culled from both second­ ary and primary sources, most notably from the Fonds Ozias Leduc of the private archives of the Bibliothèque nationale du Québec, Montréal (BNQ). The Fonds, originally acquired in 1973 by the private archives of the Archives nationales du Québec, Montréal (ANQM), was catalogued by four graduate students (Sylvia Antoniou, Victoria Baker, Janice Seline, and Craig Stirling) and Laurier Lacroix, then a lecturer in the Art History department of Concordia University during the 1977/8 academic session. This was the primary research tool to access documents from the Leduc collection from 1978-92, until Monique Lanthier recatalogued the Leduc papers in unpublished manuscript form in 1994 (Répertoire-Inventaire du Fonds Ozias Leduc). I mention this because nowhere in her prefatory essay, which includes a brief history of the collection, does she acknowledge that the Fonds had been previously catalogued. The catalogue is divided into two parts. The first part contains an introduc­ tion and three essays. Laurier Lacroix of the Université du Québec à Montréal, a Leduc enthusiast, who for over a quarter century has painstakingly combed through the Leduc papers, pens the introduction (19-22) and an essay, "A Dream of a Garden of Beauty" (23-31). François-Marc Gagnon of the Université de Montréal, who has published extensively on Leduc's most famous pupil, PaulÉmile Borduas, writes on "Leduc and Modernism" (33-42). In fact, there isn't any clear indication that Dr. Gagnon is arguing any particular point. One might inter-

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Author details

Stirling, J.

Foss, Brian