Marc-Aurèle de Foy Suzor-Coté was a successful painter, sculptor and church decorator. Born in Arthabaska, Quebec on April 5, 1869, Suzor-Coté’s success was due to his exceptional talent, his outgoing personality, as well as his favorable circumstances. His talent for drawing was recognized while he was still in high school and in 1887 he began decorating churches with the Joseph Rousseau company of St-Hyacinthe. Through family connections he met Sir Wilfrid Laurier, from whom he received many commissions. |
Between 1891 and 1912 Suzor-Coté traveled extensively between Canada, the US and Europe. He studied in France at the École des beaux-arts in Paris and at the Julian and Colarossi academies. From 1892 on, his works attracted attention at the exhibitions of the Art Association of Montreal (where he won the Jessie Dow prize for "Les fumées, port de Montréal" in 1912), the salons of the Société des artistes français in Paris, and the Royal Canadian Academy of the Arts. In 1901, William Scott and Son, of Montreal, began representing Suzor-Coté. He traveled to Europe again in 1904-07 and 1911-12. Upon his return to Montreal, his reputation was well established.
After 1912, Suzor-Coté worked in his Arthabaska and Montreal studios. He mastered pastels as well as oils. He was influenced by Impressionism and was particularly interested in the play of light on snow and water, especially during the spring thaw. He painted famous historical events as well as winter scenes with subtle use of color. In 1911 he started developing his talent for sculpting, at which he excelled after 1918. For inspiration, he drew from his surroundings or from literary works such as Maria Chapdelaine. In 1927 he became paralyzed and had to abandon his art. He died 10 years later, January 26, 1937, in Daytona Beach, Florida.
Affiliations: Associate of the Royal Canadian Academy (1911); Royal Canadian Academy (1916); Canadian Arts Council (1913); Montreal Arts Club (1913).