Leo Arbour

Born: 1912  |  Died: 2003

Leo Arbour. Sculptor. Woodcarver. Pointe-du-Lac, Trois-Rivieres, Quebec. Active mid-20th century.

Leo Arbour made classical wood carvings for churches throughout Quebec and Canada. He also carved the traditional themes of Quebec. His formal work was often  unpainted and he made many beautiful painted carvings of traditional Quebec scenes and customs. He carved in the ‘flat-plane’ tradition. He is considered one of the ‘greats’ of Quebec and Canadian ecclesiastical artists. Leo Arbour received formal training in both painting and sculpting wood. He is mentioned here because of the shared influences; from untrained artists and on  untrained artists and on the field of ‘folk art’ in general. (See the Painted example in the link below.)

Two relief carvings of a man and woman in traditional early Quebec settler’s costumes by Leo Arbour. The wood used is Basswood and they are signed on the reverse (1940’s):

Two ‘Bas Reliefs’ by Leo Arbour:

Leo Arbour. Quebec. Two relief carvings. 1940's.

Leo Arbour. Quebec. Two relief carvings. 1940’s.

‘Bas relief’ Profile of a Man by Leo Arbour:

Leo Arbour. Relief carving of a Quebec 'Habitant'.

Leo Arbour. Relief carving of a Quebec ‘Habitant’.


A link to the “Dictionnaire Historic de la Sculpture Quebecoise au XXieme Ciecle” and a painted carving by Leo Arbour; The New Year’s Blessing (La Benidiction du jour de l’an. C. 1950):