Artwork by Marc-Aurèle de Foy Suzor-Coté,  Le vieux pionnier canadien

Marc-Aurèle de Foy Suzor-Coté
Le vieux pionnier canadien

signed (incised), dated 1912 and inscribed "Copyrighted‒Canada 1914" and "USA" on the base; stamped "Roman Bronze Works N.Y." on the underside of the base
15.75 x 16.25 x 8.5 in ( 40 x 41.3 x 21.6 cm ) ( overall )

Auction Estimate: $6,000.00$4,000.00 - $6,000.00

Price Realized $7,200.00
Sale date: May 30th 2024

Private Collection
Pierre L'Allier, “Suzor-Coté, L'oeuvre sculpté”, Quebec, 1991, pages 48-49
The multi-talented Quebec artist was also able to seamlessly shift from painting to working in three dimensions. Marc-Aurèle de Foy Suzor-Coté's bronzes were cast in New York at the Roman Bronze Works and became sought after by collectors in Canada and the United States. He produced over forty different bronze figures and groups. Suzor‒Coté presents "Le vieux pionnier canadien" as a dreamer, pondering his life, the rifle and varied tools represented on either side of the base testifying to his activities. Suzor‒Coté depicts the figure in a comfortable seated position, capturing the essence of his subject, the heritage of his people present in the features and attitude of his model. While the artist was renowned for his depictions of the landscape, he was also determined to include images of their rural inhabitants. Inspired by French Realist artists such as Jean‒François Millet, Suzor‒ Coté focused on portraying the individuals in their daily life through portraits and genre scenes. The artist had a particular respect and empathy for these people, which is “attributable to the fact that the artist and model shared a common origin.”

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

Suzor-Coté was born in 1869 in the village of Arthabaska, Quebec. Although the young Marc-Aurèle de Foy Suzor-Coté excelled in both musical and artistic pursuits, his love of painting won precedence and he travelled to Paris in 1891 for three years of art studies at the École de beaux-arts. He returned to North America briefly, pursuing commission work, before returning to Europe for an extended period between 1897 and 1907.

By 1906 he had left behind the academic realism of his early work, developing instead a bold impressionistic style. Once back in Canada he found his greatest inspiration in the Canadian landscape itself. He painted landscape in a forceful impressionistic style which was unfamiliar to Canadian audiences of the time.

The multi-talented Suzor-Coté was also easily able to make the shift from painting to working in three dimensions. His bronzes were cast in New York at the Roman Bronze Works, and became sought after by collectors in Canada and the United States. Suzor-Coté won the Jessie Dow prize for best painting at the Art Association of Montreal in 1914 and again in 1925. By 1925, he had made a significant contribution to impressionism in Canada, influencing younger artists to paint the Canadian landscape in a new manner.