Claude Le Sauteur

Claude Le Sauteur was born at Rivière-Pentecôte, Quebec. From 1945 to 1950, he studied at École des Beaux-Arts de Québec under Jean Paul Lemieux, Jean Dallaire and Omer Parent.  While working as a graphic artist, Le Sauteur painted during his free time. He mainly painted scenes in the vicinity of Quebec City but also painted while on trips to the Gaspé area and Charlevoix, a region he particularly loved and that would eventually become his place of residence until his death.

In 1976, Le Sauteur left his position as Vice-President at Cabana Séguin Design and began painting full-time. That same year an exhibition was held at Galerie George Dor in Longueil and Le Sauteur received immediate success. From then on, solo and group exhibitions were held regularly and Le Sauteur’s reputation grew quickly and immensely.

In 1980, he exhibited in Toronto for the first time and that same year he realised a series of works used to illustrate the book J.A. Martin, photographe. The following year a first book on his work was published which included a foreword by Jean Paul Lemieux. Later in 1981, both books mentioned above were shown during an exhibition at the Centre culturel canadien in Paris. The book J.A. Martin, photographe and Le Sauteur’s illustrations were also exhibited at the National Library in Ottawa in 1982 during the exhibition “Books made in Canada”.

Thanks to his growing success, Le Sauteur was the subject of a documentary, Claude Le Sauteur et sa peinture, that aired on the French CBC in 1982. In 1984, he was commissioned by the Fédération des Caisses Desjardins de Montréal to create five paintings based on the theme of solidarity. On that same occasion, he was awarded the Alphonse-Desjardins medal. In 1989, Le Sauteur became a member of the Royal Canadian Academy and he exhibited with them in Toronto in 1991. In 1990, he was also made a honorary member of the Cercle de la Garnison in Quebec City.

In 1992, he began working on a project creating five paintings that would ornament the rotunda in the Montreal office of Power Corporation of Canada, project he completed in 1995. Three years later, he completed a major project, painting five works depicting Quebec legends. That same year he undertook yet another project, this time painting four works for the Just for Laughs festival, which he completed in 2002. Finally, in 2000, Le Sauteur illustrated a stamp for Canada Post entitled “Superior Court” and became a member of the Order of Canada and was also named Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Québec.

In 2002, a retrospective show was held at the Marc-Aurèle Fortin Museum in Montreal and in the summer of 2007, The Musée Régional de Charlevoix organised a major retrospective on Le Sauteur’s works entitled "Le monde habité de Claude Le Sauteur", and the exhibition was a great success. Le Sauteur passed away only a few months later at the age of 81.

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