The Artist's Museum

Painting by Arthur Villeneuve (1910-1990).

Arthur VILLENEUVE
Photo: Claude Lamarche
1957 - 1959
Oil on wood
23 X 23 X 23 feet
© La Pulperie de Chicoutimi


Arthur Villeneuve (1910-1990)

In 1910, Arthur Villeneuve was born in Chicoutimi to a working-class family. He attended school until the third grade. As early as 1946, Arthur Villeneuve started producing his first drawings in a school exercise book and made a number of wooden scale models he called "chefs-d’oeuvrages". In 1957, he gave up his career as a barber to devote himself entirely to painting.

The artist proceeded to cover his house with colourful frescoes depicting elements of regional history, local geography and illustrating his vision of the world. For almost two years, he worked up to 100 hours a week to paint the 510 m² that make up the interior walls, the ceilings and both the front and back exterior walls of the house. Located in the Bassin, a popular Chicoutimi neighborhood, the "Musée de l’artiste" [The Artist’s Museum] was open to the public in 1959. Arthur Villeneuve welcomed visitors in his house until his death, in 1990. In 1994, the house was transported to an exhibition space of the Pulperie de Chicoutimi. The Maison Arthur-Villeneuve constitutes today one Read More
Arthur Villeneuve (1910-1990)

In 1910, Arthur Villeneuve was born in Chicoutimi to a working-class family. He attended school until the third grade. As early as 1946, Arthur Villeneuve started producing his first drawings in a school exercise book and made a number of wooden scale models he called "chefs-d’oeuvrages". In 1957, he gave up his career as a barber to devote himself entirely to painting.

The artist proceeded to cover his house with colourful frescoes depicting elements of regional history, local geography and illustrating his vision of the world. For almost two years, he worked up to 100 hours a week to paint the 510 m² that make up the interior walls, the ceilings and both the front and back exterior walls of the house. Located in the Bassin, a popular Chicoutimi neighborhood, the "Musée de l’artiste" [The Artist’s Museum] was open to the public in 1959. Arthur Villeneuve welcomed visitors in his house until his death, in 1990. In 1994, the house was transported to an exhibition space of the Pulperie de Chicoutimi. The Maison Arthur-Villeneuve constitutes today one of the most prominent pieces of the museum’s collection.

Being a prolific artist, in his lifetime, rthur Villeneuve produced numerous drawings and paintings. In 1964, the National Film Board of Canada produced a documentary about his work. In 1972, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts organized a major retrospective of his work and he received the Order of Canada the same year.

© 1997, CHIN. All Rights Reserved.

Learning Objectives

The learner will:

  • Understand that art can influence and reflect culture by conveying social and ethical issues
  • Be aware that the creative process is influenced by personal experience.
  • Understand that our reaction to art is based on our own experiences
  • Be aware of the diversity of Francophone art across Canada
  • Develop an appreciation of historical and contemporary Francophone art in Canada
  • Recognize the role of the curator in choosing, researching and interpreting art for exhibition

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