Claude Le Sauteur was born on October 7th, 1926, in Rivière-Pentecôte, of Quebec’s Côte Nord region. His father, Wallace Edward Le Sauteur, worked as an accountant for Canadian International Paper, and so, his many responsibilities led the family to move to Clermont, Beaupré, La Tuque and finally Trois-Rivières, where the young artist began school and spent his adolescent years.
Young Le Sauteur’s love for drawing eventually led him to study fine arts, a choice that gained little approval from his father, and so he was forced him to pay for his studies with a job in the forestry industry. From 1945 to 1950, Le Sauteur studied at the École des Beaux-Arts de Québec [Fine Arts Institut] under the likes of Jean Paul Lemieux and Jean-Philippe Dallaire. Earning a living as a painter proved to be difficult, but nonetheless, in 1959, Le Sauteur married Ghislaine Laflamme–the woman with whom he would share his life until his passing on November 29th, 2007.
From 1950 to 1980, Claude Le Sauteur worked in advertising, as a freelancer with a number of magazines (Maclean’s, Châtelaine, Perspectives, etc.), as well as in the printing industry (specifically in design). In 1966, he joined Cabana-Séguin, a major Montreal advertising agency, and climbed through the ranks, eventually becoming vice-president. Not only did the position make it possible for him to earn a living as a creative artist, it also allowed him to lay the foundations of the Le Sauteur style, which streamlined advertising and make it more evocative. Le Sauteur teamed up with the Just For Laughs festival in the 1980s, creating a series of drawings devoted to humour and laughter, a testament to his wider vision of the arts, as well as his renowned skill as a graphic artist and illustrator.
Claude Le Sauteur continued to paint throughout his professional career. In 1976, an exhibition of his work was held at the Galerie Georges Dor in Longueil and all the pieces shown were sold within thirty minutes. But it wasn’t until his retirement in 1980, that Le Sauteur began painting full-time. Starting in 1978, he divided his time between homes in Boucherville and in Les Éboulements (Charlevoix), where he settled permanently in 1986. Taking root in Charlevoix was an important step in his growth as an artist, one that would have a profound impact on the forms and themes found in his work.