SUZOR-CÔTÉ, Marc-Aurèle de Foy
About the artist
Marc-Aurèle de Foy Suzor-Coté RCA (April 6, 1869 – January 29, 1937) was a French Canadian painter and sculptor. He was one of the first native-born Canadian artists whose works were directly influenced by French Impressionism of the 1860s.
He was born in Arthabaska, Quebec in 1869 and his father was an artist. Suzor-Coté studied at the Collège du Sacré-Coeur, Arthabaska. He was a baritone, who studied music at the Conservatory of Music in Paris in 1890, but later in the 1890s, studied painting and sculpture at the École des Beaux-Arts with Léon Bonnat. At the school, he learned of the work of Swedish sculptor Carl Milles whose sculptures of indigenous people influenced him. He also studied painting and sculpture at the Julian and Colarossi Academies. He exhibited his works in 1894 at the Salon des Artistes Français. His Death of Archimedes won the Grand Prize at the Paris Salon.
After his return to Quebec in 1908, he established a studio in Montreal creating paintings with classic interpretations of Canadian landscapes. He produced many Impressionist paintings of the Quebec landscape, as well as portraits, nudes, historical paintings and later sculptures. In his paintings, he was most interested in the play of light on snow and water.
Suzor-Coté was made a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts. There were numerous exhibitions of his work during his lifetime and afterwards. In 2002, Suzor-Coté, 1869-1937: Light and Matter, co-organized by the Musée du Québec and the National Gallery of Canada, was circulated by the Musée du Québec. This first major retrospective of Suzor-Coté, the first in 75 years, brought together over 140 works.
Suzor-Coté became paralyzed in 1927. In 1929, Suzor-Côté moved to Daytona Beach, Florida, where he died on 29 January 1937.
On 14 March 1969 Canada Post issued ‘Suzor-Coté, 1869-1937’ based on a painting “Return from the Harvest Field” (1903) by Marc-Aurèle de Foy Suzor-Coté in the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario. The 50¢ stamps are perforated 13 and were printed by Canadian Bank Note Company, Limited.
He produced forty or fifty small bronze Impressionist figures and groups. As of 2020, the Suzor-Coté collection in Ottawa’s National Gallery of Canada consists of twenty-eight paintings, ten sculptures and a number of drawings. Return from the Harvest Field was acquired by the National Gallery in 1904. Other Suzor-Coté works in Canada are to be found in Quebec City’s Musée national des beaux-arts, the RiverBrink Art Museum, and in private collections.