Artwork by Marc-Aurèle de Foy Suzor-Coté,  La compagne du vieux pionnier canadien

Marc-Aurèle de Foy Suzor-Coté
La compagne du vieux pionnier canadien

signed (incised), dated 1912 and inscribed “Canada Copyrighted U.S.A." on the base; stamped "Roman Bronze Works N.Y." on the underside of the base
15.75 x 16.25 x 9.25 in ( 40 x 41.3 x 23.5 cm ) ( overall )

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

Price Realized $8,400.00
Sale date: May 30th 2024

Private Collection
Pierre L'Allier, “Suzor-Coté, L'oeuvre sculpté”, Quebec, 1991, pages 48-49
The faithful companion to “Le vieux pionnier canadien”, Pierre L'Allier describes “La compagne du vieux pionnier canadien” as more discrete than that of her partner, whose strong personality is imposed by the sculptor. Unlike her husband, "La compagne's" world is defined within the home. Suzor-Coté included clear detail in the quilted texture of the sitter's skirt (suggesting homespun clothing) and the grained design of the floor beneath her chair. Even at her advanced age, she continues to knit. Suzor-Coté's preoccupation with the gestures of “La compagne” are evident, paying special attention to the hands of the old woman, which show clear signs of strength and arthritic wear.

L'Allier notes that “Le vieux pionnier canadien” and “La compagne du vieux pionnier canadien” form a pair of inseparable figures, completing a cycle of existence, the husband and wife symbolizing the tenacity and perseverance of rural life.

Share this item with your friends

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.