JEAN PAUL LEMIEUX, R.C.A.
DAPHNIS & CHLOÉ, 1962
oil on canvas
signed and dated; titled, dated and inscribed "À Taschereau Fortier" on the stretcher; also titled on the overflap
7.5 ins x 11 ins; 19.1 cms x 27.9 cms
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Jean Paul Lemieux’s (1904-1990) landscapes in this period are almost bare of topographical detail, with the stoic figures occupying the extreme foreground becoming enveloped by vertiginous horizons and flat fields of colour. Daphnis & Chloé depicts a story of youthful innocence and pastoral love. Here the broad distance is punctuated by indistinct blobs of trees and a drab texture of sky: the focus is on the two central figures. They occupy the scene with frank tension, bringing a sense of balance to the evacuated horizon. They wear nothing but sunburnt nudity and serene expressions, punctuated by a bright flower crown and a visible naiveté. Emphasized by the limited palette, the figures are worked with the same plastic and physical texture as their surroundings. There is a sense of prelapsarian innocence here, an interior harmony between two bodies situated within the wider nature. For Lemieux, the loneliness of human experience situated in the infinite landscape can become something bright and unified, a fertile backdrop for purified emotion.
Collection of R.F.M. McInnis, 1983
The Estate of Grant L. Reuber
Department: Canadian Fine Art