René Richard was born in Switzerland in 1885. Characterized by his rich impasto technique with a deep, luscious palate, Richard captured the Quebec region of Charlevoix with more sensuality than any of his predecessors.
At 24 years old, René Richard arrived in Edmonton, Alberta with his family in 1909. A year later, he left for Cold Lake, in the northern part of Alberta, where he became a lumberjack and trapper. He lived an adventurous life there amongst the hostile and savage nature, which he eventually tamed and learned to love. This encounter with the great, vast Canadian wilderness had a profound effect on his art and life. There in Alberta, Richard met his mentor, Clarence Gagnon, who inspired him to devote his time and energy to painting.
It was not until 1936, at the age of 51 years old that Richard followed Gagnon to Baie-St-Paul, Quebec, where Gagnon had already established a large following of artists and patrons. In 1942, Richard settled in Baie-St-Paul, where he embarked on a productive career painting the wild and rugged coastline of the region. Making use of a sumptuous, deep palette and a brush heavy with wet paint, Richard gave a second life to the sensuous forms and colours of his newly discovered home in Quebec.
Throughout the late forties and fifties, Richard was captivated by the vast wilderness of the Great North. He ventured off on several excursions during this period, which has now been appreciated as his glory days. Without a doubt, René Richard’s sensual paintings expose his own intimacy with Canada’s rough terrains.