Paul Caron R.C.A.

A Laurentian Wayside Inn, 1937

oil on canvas
20.25x26 in.

signed lower right
titled and dated 1937 to verso

Canadian Fine Arts, Toronto;
Mayberry Fine Art, Toronto

It is no surprise when we look at the brilliantly coloured works of Paul Caron, to find that he began his career as an ornamental stained glass designer. His works, laden with snow as we see here, seem lit from behind with a brilliant, clear light. Having studied with the auspicious teachers William Brymner and Edmond Dyonette at the Art Association of Montreal, he also worked as an illustrator, a common practice at a time when making a living, supporting oneself and one’s family from painting, was a precarious practice. Scenes with the subject we see here are a staple in Caron’s body of work; families loading sleighs, at crossroads travelling, and plodding through impossibly deep and deliciously white snow, with blue sleighs and red blankets contrasting brightly to the snow. Caron’s shadows on snow are visually pleasing as well as informative, they tell us the snow’s depth, is crispness or wetness, its age, or its newness. To be a landscape painter in Canada, an understanding of snow is a must, and Caron was particularly skilled in blending white with a subtle yet vast array of colours to convey a myriad of different information to us. Thus, it is also no surprise that his wintry works were very popular as Christmas card illustrations, conveying as they do, the bright beautiful whites of winter.

Born in Montreal, Quebec, he studied drawing and painting under William Brymner, Maurice Cullen and Edmond Dyonnet at the school of the Art Association of Montreal. He worked 11 years in the stained glass industry making drawings for ornaments and figures and then for La Presse and the Montreal Star…