Historic Art | Henri Beau

About the Artist

Henri Beau, painter (b at Montréal 27 June 1863; d at Paris, France 15 May 1949). After his first design and painting lessons in Montréal, he left for the US in 1884, ending up in San Francisco where he did coloured engravings. Returning to Montréal in 1886, he went on to Paris, studying at the Académie Julian and the École des beaux-arts. He had his first showings in the 1890s and in 1900 won third prize for painting at the Universal Exhibition.

Beau appeared regularly in exhibitions in Europe and America. In Canada the Salon du printemps of the Art Association and the Royal Canadian Academy frequently hung his works. He was official painter of the Public Archives of Canada 1915-38. An active member of several French art societies, he was made an officer of the French Academy.

With his brother Paul, a fine-arts ironworker, Beau left a definite mark on Canadian art, heralding the coming young generation of painters. Yet, with his French academy training and French tastes, he was one of the last representatives of a dying age. Among his important works are Les Noces de Cana (1894) in the Sacré Coeur chapel of Notre-Dame de Montréal, La Dispersion des Acadiens (1900) at Saint-Joseph's (now part of U of Moncton, NB), and L'Arrivée de Champlain à Québec (1908) at the Musée du Québec.

The Canadian Encyclopedia by Michel Champagne
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