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Chavignaud Page 22

Great Canadian Art & Artists

Georges Chavignaud - 1865-1944

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Georges Chavignaud was primarily a painter of fabulous landscapes in watercolor.

He was born in Brittany, France in 1865 and studied in Paris. He came to Toronto, Ontario, in 1884, worked as art director for a publishing firm, and married a Canadian. From 1903-04 they travelled and painted, in Europe. George studied under leading artists in Belgium and was elected a member of the Society of Water Colour Painters in Belgium.

In 1904 he returned to Canada settling in Meadowvale (1904) and Etobicoke (1910). Kleinberg (1918), Meadowvale (1929), and became a founding member of the Arts and Letters Club in Toronto and a member of the Ontario Society of Artists. He was elected to the Ontario Society of Artists in 1900, but resigned in protest over the work of the Group of Seven. From1902-1918 he exhibited regularly at the Royal Canadian Academy. From1912-1916, he was principal of the Victoria School of Art and Design in Halifax.

He continued to travel in Belgium, France and the Netherlands where he found renewed inspiration.

He painted Canadian landscapes in the Maritimes, the Ile d'Orléans in Quebec, and in Ontario. He died at Meadowvale, north of Mississauga, in 1944.


Farmhouse, Isle d'Orléans - Georges Chavignaud
Orig. wc - Image Size - 41 x 51 cm
Found - Toronto, ON

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Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Mother of Georges Chavignaud - Georges Chavignaud
Orig. pencil sketch - Size - 20 x 26 cm
Found - Toronto, ON
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Wife of Georges Chavignaud - Georges Chavignaud
Orig. pencil sketch - Size - 20 x 26 cm
Found - Toronto, ON

Since Georges painted a lot in Belgium and the Netherlands, when a painting - without a windmill - comes up at auction, you have to decide - European or Canadian?

The house above is certainly an Ile d'Orléans house, and shares many similarities to the Gouin-Bureau house left from Ste. Anne de la Pérade: the steep, bell shaped roof with the partial overhang of the eaves, the dormers with their unique roof pitch and construction, the windows and doors on a low wall with steps to the street, windows with their six pane glazing, small windows in the upper storeys of the gable ends, stucco finish to the walls, cedar shakes on the roof... This house probably looked exactly like Georges' until pressure from a growing family made the owner add the extra window, door, dormer and chimney.

This photo was taken in 1927 of a house built in 1669 and is an intermediate stage leading to the "French-Canadian" style house so commonly painted by Quebec painters in our day. The slight overhang here, was extended on many of these old houses, to form the roof for a porch.

The family of Adjutor De Montigny, of Saint-Pierre, Ile d'Orléans, c 1920, shows why many houses needed expansion as time went on.

The photo also displays the strong sense of family in French and French-Canadian culture, and is the reason why Georges Chavignaud drew these affectionate portraits of the two most important people in his life... His daughter certified them as his originals.