A carving of a Way-Side Cross by Paul Archibald Caron, Montreal, Quebec. C. 1930.


Paul Archibald Caron. The Wayside Cross. C. 1930.

Paul Archibald Caron. The Wayside Cross. C. 1930.


A painted relief carving: The Sunday Visit. By Yvonne Bolduc, Baie-Saint-Paul, Quebec. C. 1950.:


Yvonne Bolduc. Baie-St-Paul, Que.  Relief carving. The Visit. c.1950. Approx. 30 inches long.

Yvonne Bolduc. Baie-St-Paul, Que. Relief carving. The Visit. c.1950. Approx. 30 inches long.


C. Dubeau. Sculptor. Woodcarver. St. Jovite, Quebec. Relief carving of a Bear and Hunters.

A large relief carving circa. 1930, signed by C. Dubeau, a sculptor from the St. Jovite area of Quebec. It is a deep relief carving painted in ‘as found’ colors and measures about 15 by 24 inches inside the frame. It is one of a pair made for a hunting lodge in Northern Quebec. The other, by J. P. Clement, is posted below.

C. Dubeau. St. Jovite, Quebec. Relief carving. A Bear with Hunters:

C. Dubeau. Reliel Carving. St.-Jovite, Quebec. 1930. s

C. Dubeau. St. Jovite, Quebec. His mark:

C. Dubeau. Detail of relief carving. Bear and Hunters.

C. Dubeau. Detail of relief carving. Bear and Hunters.

Emile Bluteau. His first carving.

I am posting an image in the Sidebar of Emile Bluteau’s first work. It was carved in a chunk of White Birch stove wood that he had put aside to age for sculpting. It is an impressive carving, by one of Quebec’s foremost primitive artists. See the Gallery for more information about Emile and this work as well as  pricing details.


(The Sidebar is the image on the upper right of every page. I will be changing it every few days.)

Quebec Souvenir Art.

Some Notes on Quebec Souvenir Art.

* Shadow Boxes.

Quebec Folk Artists, inspired by the engravings of Massicotte, the Bronzes of Laliberte and  interpretations of them by other artists, reproduced them in their own work. The Bourgault family of artists made many of these, particularly Andre Bourgault, or his studio, and Celine Bourgault, who often signed her name to them. The work was often done by female artists as these images were sometimes very small and required small hands.

They were made in different sizes and they depicted traditional scenes of family and village life. The inside of Blacksmith shops. An interior scene of a Butcher’s shop. A tavern and General store. And family scenes of a kitchen or parlor with furniture and a grandfather clock. Always with people and a dog on the rug. If there was a window or an open doorway in the ‘room’, there would be a painted scene or a tiny piece cut from a local post  card to simlulate the view outside. They were made of Pine and Basswood (Tilleul) and always painted in watercolors.

A Bourgault example:

Bourgault Shadow Box. 'Le Forgeron'.

Bourgault Shadow Box. ‘Le Forgeron’.

I have seen wonderful little shadow boxes with interior scenes and covered by a window frame complete with sash and muntins (as though we, the viewer, were outside looking into the room) and a clear celluloid window pane. And one, in particular, signed in the lower right in ink: Celine Bourgault. It was a living room interior with a window on the opposite wall facing the viewer. Painted in the ‘window’ was a tiny view of the St. Lawrence River. This shadow box by Celine Bourgault was about 5 by 7 inches.

A Laliberte bronze (The Conversation is a popular theme Quebec folk art):

Laliberte. The Conversation.

Laliberte. The Conversation.

Some Background:

* (Ref.  Bronzes d’Alfred Laliberte, Legendes-Coutoumes-metiers de la Nouvelle France.  Librarie Beauchemin Limitee, Montreal. 1934.)

* (Ref: Nos Canadiens D’Autrefois. Edmond-J. Massicotte, Librairie Granger et Freres, Montreal. 1923.)

* (Ref: BOUCHARD, Georges. Vieilles choses, vieilles gens : silhouettes campagnardes. Préface de l’honorable Rodolphe Lemieux ; bois gravés de Edwin H. Holgate. Montréal : Librairie Granger Frères, 1943) Published in English under the title: “Other Days; Other Ways.”


*Relief Carvings. Les Bas reliefs.

Another sculptural form was relief carvings. From simple ones to the very elaborate. There were ones in the ‘flat plane’ carved style from Saint-Jean-Port-Joli; painted in water colors. And there were those more naïve and primitive; often painted in ‘as found’ colors – usually oil-based house paint. Some artists, like Yvonne Bolduc, made their own paints from materials at hand.

They carved and painted simple scenes like a house on a hill in winter and more developed themes like ‘The Doctors Visit’ or ‘The Mardi Gras at New Years’. ‘The Doctor’s Visit’ was carved by Yvonne Bolduc. Probably more than once. And ‘Mado’ Lizotte made fine applied reliefs of these themes several times. Both these artists have their works in Museum and private collections.

The materials used were Pine or Basswood panels and in the case of applied relief carvings ‘as found’ materials could include anything; any sort of material that was available.

(I once had a large and naive (1930’s) mounted shadow box under glass of a Gaspe Shore boat model. It was wonderfully painted and adorned with every kind of nautical element. All along the railing of the model were mounted the round red life preservers of the time. And they were actually real Life Saver candies (the name was on them). They seemed a logical choice in ‘as found’ work. The size was right too.)


A simple Applied Relief carving. Unsigned. (1930’s) A house in winter on the Gaspe shore:

House in winter. Gaspe Shore. Applied Relief.
House in winter. Gaspe Shore. Applied Relief.


A ‘bas relief’ carving by Yvonne Bolduc. “The Doctor’s Visit:

Yvonne Bolduc. The Doctor's Visit. 1950's.
Yvonne Bolduc. The Doctor’s Visit. 1950’s.


The reverse of The Doctor’s Visit. With provenance:

Detail of The Doctor's Visit.
Detail of The Doctor’s Visit.
*Works of Collage using Postage Stamps:
  These were done only by Les Franciscaines Missionaires de Marie; a Missionary group based in Quebec City. Some were signed by the particular artist but most were signed only by the Group. Their works were sold as souvenirs of Quebec to raise funds for the Missions. They were inspired by the same themes as other Quebec artists but their work was always scenes of Quebec; they never included people. See the post in the Biography pages under:
An Example:
Franciscaines Missionnaires de Marie.

Franciscaines Missionnaires de Marie.




Arthur Sauve (1896-1973)

Born in Maxville, Ontario; Arthur Sauve began carving in the 1920’s. He carved picture frames, shelves, musical instruments, whirligigs, animals and people. He has been extensively collected and cited by, among others, Blake Mckendry* and Russell Harper*. Pictured is a Crucifix by M. Sauve. Signed and dated (1957) on the reverse, it is a remarkable expression.

It is about 18 inches tall and made of  Pine and finished with ‘as found’ oil paint and varnish.



Crucifix by Arthur Sauve Maxville Ontario