CLARENCE ALPHONSE GAGNON, R.C.A.
MONT ST. MICHEL
signed and titled in pencil in the lower margin
9 ins x 11 ins; 22.9 cms x 27.9 cms
Tovell writes: “In 1907 a transformation occurred in Gagnon’s etching that can be attributed to a rare privileged experience with Rembrandt’s etching.” Between 1906 and 1907, Gagnon had the opportunity to assist with pulling a set of restrikes from the great Dutch master’s own plates. As a result, Tovell asserts that works such as Mont St. Michel show “a new sensitivity to the expressive qualities of a densely drawn etched line, a rich painterly method of inking, and a moodiness or emotional quality now truly felt and not just observed.”
Executed circa 1907, Gagnon described Mont St. Michel as his best print. Only twenty-one signed impressions of this title have been identified to date. Copies may be found in major public collections including the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the National Gallery of Canada and the Art Gallery of Ontario.
Gagnon also made a similar painting of this subject.
Ian M. Thom, The Prints of Clarence Gagnon, Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, Victoria, 1981, page 28, plate 28 for Mont St. Michel, reproduced.
Rosemarie L. Tovell, A New Class of Art: the Artist’s Print in Canadian Art 1877-1920, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, 1996, page 81, and page 21, Plate V, cat.no.43 for Mont St. Michel, reproduced.
Hélène Sicotte and Michel Grandbois with Rosemarie L. Tovell, Clarence Gagnon, 1881-1942: Dreaming the Landscape, Musée du Québec, 2006, page 286 and cat.no.34, page 383 for Mont St. Michel, reproduced.
Private Collection, Alberta