Arthur Villeneuve

Born: 1910  |  Died: 1990

Arthur Villeneuve. Painter. Sculptor. Chicoutimi, Quebec. Active mid-20th century.

Arhtur Villeneuve, a barber in Chicoutimi, Quebec, was a primitive artist. He worked on any ‘as found’ surface that he could find; including the house that he lived in. Driven by his inspiration, he covered every surface of his home-inside and out-with his impressions of the world and the society around him. His work and his impressions were not well received by his neighbors and fellow townspeople in the beginning; but his visions  attracted attention from the world beyond Chicoutimi and he became well known indeed; eventually having a retrospective of his work in 1972 at the Montreal Museum of Fine Art. Arthur Villeneuve was not a naive artist; he was true primitive who worked with ‘as found’ materials, including oil based house paint and used whatever he had at hand or could afford to buy to make a life-long series of very sophisticated and often spectacular works of art.

Arthur Villeneuve also sculpted.

An example of the work of Arthur Villeneuve:

Arthur Villeneuve. A Landscape.

Arthur Villeneuve. A Landscape.


 Ref: Francois Gagnon. Arthur Villeneuve’s Quebec Chronicles. Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. 1972.

A link to a National Film Board documentary about Arthur Villeneuve. ‘The Barber of Chicoutimi’:


A link to an article about Villeneuve in the Encyclopedia of French Culture in North America: