Selfportrait of the artist

An example of a typical Suzor-Coté self-portrait.

Marc-Aurèle de Foy Suzor-Coté
1896 - 1897
MNBAQ 89.174
© 2006, Musée des beaux-arts du Québec, Gift from Marcel Carbotte. All Rights Reserved.


Marc-Aurèle de Foy Suzor-Coté (1869-1937)

Marc-Aurèle de Foy Suzor-Coté (1869-1937), a painter and sculptor, was born in Arthabaska (Victoriaville, Quebec). A great charmer, fashionably attired and possessing a baritone voice, Marc-Aurèle de Foy Suzor-Coté even fabricated an aristocratic name for himself, modelled after his mother’s name, Defoy. At age 22, he left for Paris, to complete his training at the École des beaux-arts there.

While honing his drawing skills, he spent time with Henri Harpignies, a landscape artist in the Corot style, who introduced him to outdoor painting. While his paintings complied with the standards of “good taste” of the time, his bright colours and free style drew their inspiration from the Impressionists.

The landscapes he presented in 1900 at the show by the Société des artistes français and at the Exposition universelle in Paris established his reputation as a highly talented painter, both in Europe and back in Canada. He returned home in th Read More

Marc-Aurèle de Foy Suzor-Coté (1869-1937)

Marc-Aurèle de Foy Suzor-Coté (1869-1937), a painter and sculptor, was born in Arthabaska (Victoriaville, Quebec). A great charmer, fashionably attired and possessing a baritone voice, Marc-Aurèle de Foy Suzor-Coté even fabricated an aristocratic name for himself, modelled after his mother’s name, Defoy. At age 22, he left for Paris, to complete his training at the École des beaux-arts there.

While honing his drawing skills, he spent time with Henri Harpignies, a landscape artist in the Corot style, who introduced him to outdoor painting. While his paintings complied with the standards of “good taste” of the time, his bright colours and free style drew their inspiration from the Impressionists.

The landscapes he presented in 1900 at the show by the Société des artistes français and at the Exposition universelle in Paris established his reputation as a highly talented painter, both in Europe and back in Canada. He returned home in the summer of 1907, at age 38, his training completed. An artist, he explained to the Globe newspaper of Toronto, “must paint his own country. […] that is the only thing you will paint well.”

Through his family contacts with Wilfrid Laurier, a lawyer in Arthabaska, leader of the Liberal Party and future Prime Minister, he was granted commissions that launched his career as a painter in Canada.

Suzor-Coté was a versatile artist who also drew and sculpted, and produced portraits, history paintings and female nudes. Landscapes remained his first love, however. During his stay in France, he travelled around Paris and along the coast of Brittany looking for scenes bathed in light. But it was in his native country, in Arthabaska, that he found his best sources of inspiration. He constantly roamed the surrounding countryside, trying to capture the soft light of dusk on the river at break-up time or on snow-covered hills. His winter scenes are among his most remarkable canvases, in fact. He tirelessly depicted views of his village like so many tributes to Canadian nature, both sleeping in winter and emerging from the snow and ice in spring. He also described his country through pastels and sculptures of its rural inhabitants.

In 1927, he became paralyzed and was forced to give up his career as an artist. In 1928 he moved to Daytona Beach, Florida, where he gradually began drawing, sculpting and painting again. He died in Daytona Beach, but is buried in the cemetery of his native town.

He was a talented artist who proved himself at many techniques and subjects, from sculpture to genre scenes, caramel-soft pastels, and nudes with an unorthodox sensuality.

The Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec and the National Gallery of Canada have fine collections of his work[1].

[1] Source :Suzor-Coté Gold and Light, National Gallery of Cananda Web site (http://national.gallery.ca/english/default_900.htm).
© 2006, Centre d'exposition de l'Université de Montréal. All Rights Reserved.

Study for the death of Montcaml ('La mort de Montcalm').

Study for the death of Montcalm ('La mort de Montcalm').

Marc-Aurèle de Foy Suzor-Coté
Patrick Altman, photographe
1902
MNBAQ 43.176
© 2006, Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec. All Rights Reserved.


Portrait of Esdras Cyr.

Portrait of Esdras Cyr.

Marc-Aurèle de Foy Suzor-Coté
MNBAQ, Jean-Guy Kérouac, photographer
c. 1910
MNBAQ 34.20
© 2006, MNBAQ, Jean-Guy Kérouac, photographer. All Rights Reserved.


Symphonie pathétique presents a sensual female nude.

Suzor-Coté was a versatile artist, produced female nudes with an unorthodox sensuality.

Marc-Aurèle de Foy Suzor-Coté
MNBAQ, Patrick Altman, photographer
1925
Quebec, CANADA
MNBAQ 46.05
© 2006, Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, Patrick Altman, photographer. All Rights Reserve


Learning Objectives

Adapt the processes and technical procedures to the creation of two- and three- dimensional works.

Teachers' Centre Home Page | Find Learning Resources & Lesson Plans