Location: Northern Canada and Baie St-Paul, Québec
Jean-François Monette's ‘Painter of the North' celebrates the life of René Richard, a Switzerland native who rose above a childhood of forced labour to become one of Canada's most respected landscape artists.
Richard's family settled in Alberta in 1910 when René was fifteen. Unwilling to accept the back-breaking toil of a farmer's life, Richard left his father's home to become a trapper and hunter. It is while paddling the province's Northern lakes that Richard discovered Alberta's nature, immersed himself in the culture of the people of the North, and developed his exceptional artistic skills.
In order to perfect these skills, Richard made a trip to France and it is there that he met the man who would become a life-long friend, Clarence Gagnon. Back in Canada, Richard returned to his life as a wandering artist. His sketches are more than a personal testimony: through them Richard has recorded a vanished way of life. Richard's works are a collective diary of his adopted nation.