Clarence Gagnon: The Maria Chapdelaine Illustrations
120 pp., 9 x 8 in.
Smyth-sewn casebound, with jacket
54 illustrations; 1 photograph
Published with the McMichael Canadian Art Collection
Remarkable paintings grace the pages of Maria Chapdelaine, a novel written by a Frenchman yet embraced by generations of Canadian readers. Renowned Canadian artist Clarence Gagnon used a meticulous process to create fifty-four small paintings for Louis Hémon’s early twentieth-century story set in the Quebec countryside. Gagnon’s vivid illustrations depict the strength of body and soul necessary to survive such a harsh environment. All of the Gagnon Maria Chapdelaine illustrations are reproduced in this book, with excerpts from the novel. The complete set of paintings resides in the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, where it is considered a rare treasure.
Art historian and curator Ian M. Thom in his essay provides insight into Gagnon’s life and an appreciation of his art.